Circulating thyroid and gastric parietal cell autoantibodies in patients with multiple sclerosis.


Ioppoli C, Meucci G, Mariotti S, Martino E, Lippi A, Gironelli L, Pinchera A, Muratorio A.




Ital J Neurol Sci


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with complex abnormalities of immunoregulation and a role of autoimmunity in its pathogenesis has been accepted. MS is reportedly associated with several autoimmune diseases, but few studies are available on the prevalence of organ-specific autoantibodies in this condition. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of anti-thyroglobulin (TgAb), anti-thyroid microsomal (MAb) and gastric parietal cell (PCA) antibodies in 113 patients (63 females, 50 males, age ranging 15-62 years) with MS and in 51 neurological controls. The diagnosis of MS was made according to McDonald and Halliday criteria. TgAb and/or MAb were detected by passive hemagglutination in 19 (16.8%) patients with MS and in 3 (5.9%) of the controls. All positive TgAb and/or MAb were observed in MS females (19/63 = 30.1%), with significantly higher frequency than in female controls (X2 = 5.15, p less than 0.025). The presence of circulating thyroid antibodies was higher in patients with clinically definite or progressive probable MS and in those with long standing disease. In contrast with thyroid antibodies, no difference in the frequency of PCA, as assessed by radioimmunoassay, was observed between MS and controls. These data support a specific association between thyroid autoimmunity and MS. The appearance of thyroid autoimmune phenomena seems to be related to the reliability of the diagnosis of MS and the duration of the disease.