ANCA-associated vasculitis is linked to carriage of the Z allele of alpha(1) antitrypsin and its polymers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Hannah Morris
  • UI Ekeowa
  • K Herrmann
  • JU Holle
  • L Guillevin
  • DA Lomas
  • J Perez
  • CD Pusey
  • AD Salama
  • Robert Stockley
  • S Wieczorek
  • AJ McKnight
  • AP Maxwell
  • E Miranda
  • Lorraine Harper


Background Small studies have linked alpha 1 antitrypsin (alpha 1AT) deficiency to patients with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). Objective To test the validity and the mechanism of this association between alpha 1AT and AAV. Methods The distribution of alpha 1AT deficiency alleles Z and S was compared between 856 White Europeans with AAV and 1505 geographic and ethnically matched healthy controls. Genotyping was performed by allelic discrimination assay. Results were compared between cases and controls using chi(2) tests. The serum and renal biopsies for alpha 1AT polymers were compared using the polymer-specific 2C1 antibody. The role of alpha 1AT polymers in promoting inflammation was investigated by examining their ability to prime neutrophils for ANCA activation as assessed by CD62L shedding, superoxide production and myeloperoxidase degranulation. Results The Z but not the S allele was over-represented in the patients compared with controls (HR=2.25, 95% CI 1.60 to 3.19). Higher concentrations of polymers of alpha 1AT were detected in serum from patients carrying the Z allele than in those not carrying the Z allele (median (IQR) 1.40 (0.91-3.32) mg/dl vs 0.17 (0.06-0.28) mg/dl, p


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1856
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011