Detection of citrate synthase-reacting autoantibodies after heart transplantation: An epitope mapping study

Ágnes Petrohai, Gergely Nagy, Szilvia Bosze, Ferenc Hudecz, Emese Zsiros, György Paragh, Zoltán Nyárády, Péter Németh, Timea Berki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Autoimmune mechanisms play an important role in the pathogenesis of allograft vasculopathy following heart transplantation, but the autoantigens involved have been only sparsely studied. Citrate synthase (CS) enzyme is a conserved molecule, and, as an important mitochondrial autoantigen, it is protected by the "immunological homunculus". Tissue destruction and alteration of the immune regulatory mechanisms can induce pathological immune response against CS in other autoimmune diseases. In our present study we aimed to detect CS-specific autoantibodies in heart transplant patients, therefore, prospective, randomised clinical tests were conducted on 33 heart transplant patients and compared with 130 healthy blood donors. The level and isotype of CS antibodies were detected by simple binding indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The epitope specificities of the autoantibodies were measured on synthetic overlapping peptide sequences of CS enzyme by an indirect multi-pin ELISA method. Mainly IgM isotype CS autoantibodies were found in healthy controls, while IgG was found at higher levels and frequency (four-times higher) in heart transplant patients. Autoantibodies of IgG isotype recognise different epitopes than do autoantibodies of IgM isotype, even within the same group and individual. New epitope-specific IgG and IgM isotype autoantibodies appeared in heart transplant patients when compared with the controls. Our findings suggest a possible role of CS-specific autoantibodies in the pathomechanism of allograft vasculopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-840
Number of pages7
JournalTransplant International
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Allograft vasculopathy
  • Anti-mitochondrial autoantibodies
  • Autoantibodies
  • Citrate synthase
  • Heart transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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