A high prevalence of organ-specific autoimmunity in patients with bipolar disorder

Roos C. Padmos, Lynn Bekris, Esther M. Knijff, Henning Tiemeier, Ralph W. Kupka, Dan Cohen, Willem A. Nolen, Åke Lernmark, Hemmo A. Drexhage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


In a previous study, we reported an increased prevalence of thyroperoxidase antibodies (TPOA) in patients with bipolar disorder. Here we report the prevalence of other organ-specific autoantibodies: H/K adenosine triphosphatase (ATPA), glutamic acid decarboxylase-65 (GAD65A), and GAD-67 (GAD67A). ATPA, GAD65A, and GAD67A were determined (via a commercially available enzyme linked immunosorbent assay for ATPA, and a standardized radio immunoassays for GAD65A and GAD67A)in the sera of 239 patients with DSM-IV bipolar disorder, in 74 patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia, and in 220 healthy control subjects. The positivity prevalences for ATPA and GAD65A (but not GAD67A) were elevated in bipolar patients compared with those in healthy control subjects (11.7 vs. 6.1% and 11.3 vs. 2.6% respectively; p < .05). Schizophrenia patients did not show such statistically higher prevalence. The elevated prevalence of ATPA and GAD65A in bipolar disorder was associated with neither rapid cycling nor the use of lithium. Interestingly, the presence of GAD65A (and not that of TPOA and ATPA) tended to be associated with the activity of bipolar disorder. The level of TPOA was negatively correlated with the serum level of sIL-2R, a measure of T cell activation. Bipolar disorder is associated with organ-specific autoimmunity to the antigens TPO, H/K ATPase, and GAD65.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-482
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • GAD65 autoantibodies
  • H/K ATPase autoantibodies
  • TPO-antibodies
  • sIL-2R

Cite this