(AMA) are antibodies
) formed against mitochondria
, primarily mitochondria in cells
of the liver
. The presence of AMAs in the blood
of a person is indicative of several autoimmune diseases
such as primary biliary cirrhosis
(PBC) (a scarring of liver tissue, confined primarily to the bile duct drainage system of the liver). It is present in about 95% of cases.
Primary biliary cirrhosis is seen primarily in middle-aged women, and in those afflicted with other autoimmune diseases. PBC is an autoimmune disorder, a condition in which the human body's immune defense system mistakenly attacks the body's own cells, or in this case parts of the cells.
Cause of AMAs is postulated that xenobiotic-induced and/or oxidative modification of mitochondrial autoantigens is a critical step leading to loss of tolerance. In acute liver failure AMA are found against all major liver antigens.
Anti-cardiolipin antibodies are another type of AMA, cardiolipin is found on the inner mitochondrial membrane.
Correlation with non-mitochodrial antigens
Fifty seven percent of acute liver failure patients had elevated anti-transglutaminase antibodies
(anti-tTG), which correlate with gluten-sensitive
enteropathy (see coeliac disease
, Gluten-sensitive enteropathy associated conditions
The inflammation produced by gluten-sensitive cellular immunity may cause the oxidative stress resulting in the modification of mitochondria l antigens and acute liver failure. Anti-gp210 antibodies
are also found in 47% of PBC patients.