Research ArticleAutoimmunity

Laminin 511 is a target antigen in autoimmune pancreatitis

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Science Translational Medicine  08 Aug 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 453, eaaq0997
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaq0997

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Pancreatic perturbation

Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) is difficult to diagnose and can sometimes be confused with pancreatic cancer, which presents with similar symptoms. AIP is an inflammatory disease involving elevated IgG4, but the target autoantigen(s) is unidentified. This group’s previous work pointed to the extracellular matrix, and now, Shiokawa et al. show that a truncated form of laminin 511 may be a major autoantigen in AIP. They observed that half of AIP patients they analyzed had anti–laminin 511 antibodies, which were absent in healthy controls. Patient pancreatic tissues were positive for laminin 511, and immunization of mice with this protein induced AIP-like symptoms. These results reveal an autoimmune target in this disease and one day may aid AIP diagnosis.