Autoantibodies Against Glycoprotein 2 Isoforms in Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Anti-Glycoprotein 2 (GP2) antibodies are associated with a more complicated course of Crohn's disease (CD) in adults. Four different GP2 isoforms with different length and antibody-binding sites have been identified so far but not been explored in serological studies. We aimed to investigate the diagnostic utility of autoantibodies against all 4 isoforms of GP2 in an exclusively pediatric population for the first time.


We included 278 children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease: 164 with CD, 114 with ulcerative colitis, 83 disease controls (acute gastrointestinal infection, nonspecific gastrointestinal functional disorders), and 219 healthy controls. Sera were tested for anti-GP2 antibodies using 4 different isoforms of GP2 for anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, and pancreatic antibodies.


Anti-GP2 antibodies were significantly more prevalent in patients with CD than in ulcerative colitis and controls. We found a sensitivity of 38% (with a specificity of 95%) for anti-GP2 IgG against isoform 4 in CD. Anti-GP2 IgA against isoform 1 and anti-GP2 IgG against isoform 4 possessed the best diagnostic values for identification of CD. For the differentiation of CD from ulcerative colitis anti-GP2 IgG against isoforms 3 and 4 proved to be most accurate markers. Anti-GP2 antibodies were associated with a more complicated disease behavior and bowel surgery in CD. In a subgroup of patients with CD, anti-GP2 IgG against isoform 4 proved to be a relatively stable marker over time independent of disease activity.


Anti-GP2 antibodies against different isoforms are specific markers for CD and for different phenotypes in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

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