Spectrum of autoantibodies in Tunisian psychiatric inpatients

Immunol Invest. 2012;41(5):538-49. doi: 10.3109/08820139.2012.685537. Epub 2012 May 22.


One hundred and three psychiatric inpatients (74 men) were assessed for a wide spectrum of autoantibodies including antinuclear, antismooth muscle, antimitochondrial, antiDNA, anti-phospholipid, anti-cardiolipin IgG and IgM, antikeratin, rheumatoid factor, antithyroperoxydase, antigliadin IgA and IgG, antitransgutaminase, and antiendomysium antibodies. Four groups of patients were considered separately, including 47 with schizophrenia, 23 with schizoaffective disorder, 16 with bipolar disorder and 17 patients with other different psychiatric diagnosis. Forty one healthy, age- and sex-matched blood donors were used as a control group. There were no significant difference in the prevalence of the different autoantibodies between patients (N = 103) and controls except for antigliadin IgG (30.1 vs 9.8 respectively, p = 0.01). Presence of autoantibodies was influenced by age but not by sex or treatment. As for diagnosis categories, patients with bipolar disorder presented significantly more autoantibodies than the three other categories and controls. These results point out a possible autoimmune activation in at least a subgroup of psychiatric patients especially amongst those suffering from bipolar disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / blood
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / blood
  • Mental Disorders / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Tunisia / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulins