Open Access Research article

Pancreatic-specific autoantibodies to glycoprotein 2 mirror disease location and behaviour in younger patients with Crohn’s disease

Dimitrios P Bogdanos1, Dirk Roggenbuck2, Dirk Reinhold3, Thomas Wex4, Polychronis Pavlidis1, Ulrike von Arnim4, Peter Malfertheiner4, Alastair Forbes5, Karsten Conrad6 and Martin W Laass7*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Transplantation Immunology and Mucosal Biology, King’s College London School of Medicine at King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill Campus, Bessemer Road, London SE5 9RJ, UK

2 GA Generic Assays GmbH, 15827, Dahlewitz, Berlin, L.-Erhard-Ring 3, Germany

3 Institute of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 39120 Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, Germany

4 Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectious Diseases, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 39120, Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, Germany

5 Department of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition, University College Hospital, London, UK

6 Institute of Immunology, Technical University Dresden, 01307, Dresden, Fetscherstraße 74, Germany

7 Children’s Hospital, Technical University Dresden, 01307, Dresden, Fetscherstraße 74, Germany

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BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:102  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-102

Published: 6 August 2012



Glycoprotein 2 (GP2) was discovered as the major autoantigen of Crohn’s disease (CD)-specific pancreatic autoantibodies (PAB). We investigated anti-GP2 IgA and IgG antibodies as novel serological parameters in CD and assessed their association with distinct disease phenotypes.


Anti-GP2 and anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ASCA) IgA and IgG were detected by ELISA employing recombinant human GP2 and phosphopeptidomannan, respectively and PAB by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) in 271 sera, 169 with CD and 102 with ulcerative colitis (UC). As healthy controls 160 adult blood donors and 65 children were included.


Anti-GP2 IgG and/or IgA were more prevalent in CD (51/169, 30.2%) than in UC (9/102, 8.9%) patients and in controls (9/225, 4%) (p < 0.001 respectively). ASCA IgG and/or IgA were present in 60/169 (35.5%) in CD and in 7/102 (6.9%) in UC patients (p < 0.001). CD patients with ileocolonic location (L3) showed a significantly higher prevalence of anti-GP2 and ASCA IgA and/or IgG (40/113 and 48/113, respectively; p < 0.05 for both comparisons), whereas CD patients with colonic location (L2) revealed a significantly diminished prevalence for these autoantibody specificities (2/32 and 5/32, respectively, p < 0.05 for both). Anti-GP2 IgG were significantly more prevalent in CD patients with stricturing behaviour (B2) and perianal disease (7/11, p < 0.02) and less prevalent in those with penetrating behaviour (B3) and perianal disease (4/31, p < 0.05). The occurrence of anti-GP2 IgA and/or IgG was significantly more prevalent in CD patients with age at diagnosis of ≤16 years (16/31, p < 0.009). Prevalence of one or more anti-GP2 or ASCA IgA and/or IgG was significantly higher in L3, B2, and A1 and lower in L2 (68/113, 27/41, 23/31, 6/32; p < 0.04, respectively).


Anti-GP2 IgG and IgA, constituting novel CD specific autoantibodies, appear to be associated with distinct disease phenotypes identifying patients at a younger age, with ileocolonic location, and stricturing behaviour with perianal disease.

Autoantibody; Autoantigen; Autoimmunity; Crohn’s disease; Gastroenterology; Glycoprotein 2; Inflammatory bowel disease