Bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI) is an antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA) target antigen in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to characterize binding regions of BPI-autoantibodies and to analyze their ability to block the antibiotic effect of BPI. Sera of 24 ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease patients were examined in indirect immunofluorescence, ANCA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and by epitope mapping with 13mer peptides and Western blot for presence of BPI-autoantibodies. IgG preparations were used to determine inhibition of BPI's antimicrobial function by BPI-autoantibodies in a bacterial growth inhibition assay. BPI-autoantibodies were detected by ELISA in 18/24 patients. Epitope mapping and western blotting revealed an additional 3 patients with BPI-autoantibodies. IgG preparations of all patients with Crohn's disease and 9 of 12 ulcerative colitis patients could inhibit the antibiotic function of BPI in vitro as compared with healthy control subjects. Inhibiting BPI-autoantibodies correlated with extraintestinal manifestations, peripheral blood leukocyte counts, and anemia. BPI-autoantibodies recognizing the N-terminal portion were associated with greater mucosal damage and intestinal extent of disease. BPI is a frequent target antigen of autoantibodies in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Inhibition of the antibiotic function mediated by the N-terminal region of BPI by these autoantibodies may contribute to a proinflammatory environment in IBD patients.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)