Could antibodies against serum amyloid A function as physiological regulators in humans?

Autoimmunity. 2011 Mar;44(2):149-58. doi: 10.3109/08916934.2010.487504. Epub 2010 Aug 11.


The natural structuring of the immune system is responsible for the functional physiological state of the body. The development of natural autoantibodies involved in homeostasis relies on the ability to distinguish between exposed/masked and altered/non-altered self antigens. The objectives of this article were to address the relationships between antigen and autoantibodies against serum amyloid A (SAA), define SAA protein concentrations in 219 blood donor (BD) sera and determine their autoantibody levels and search for possible clinical associations with autoimmune and thrombotic diseases. Just recently, an increasing number of reports have indicated significantly decreased levels of autoantibodies against pro-inflammatory molecules, such as anti-TNF-alpha, anti-IL-6, or anti-CRP found in diseased conditions, as compared to healthy donors, or even to less severe disease conditions. In accord with this line of thought, our data indicate a predominant presence of anti-SAA autoantibodies in healthy BDs (above 95% as tested by the immunoblot analysis, n = 41). Using ELISA, high levels of anti-SAA antibodies were confirmed with a median OD = 0.996 for the BD group (n = 219). This suggests that anti-SAA antibodies might have a physiological role in homeostasis and/or the innate immune system and could actually be a part of the natural antibody repertoire. Significantly, lower median levels were found in patients with arterial thrombosis. Based on 219 BD sera, we could establish a new median value of 20 μg/ml for SAA antigen and a cut-off value of 114.7 μg/ml (97.5th percentile). Significantly, higher concentrations of SAA were observed for antiphospholipid syndrome, rheumatoid arthritic, and SLE patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / physiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Blood Donors*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / analysis
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / immunology*
  • Thrombosis / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein