Tamm-Horsfall autoantibodies in interstitial cystitis

D. E. Neal, J. P. Dilworth, M. B. Kaack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Interstitial cystitis presents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Although many etiologies, including autoimmunity, have been proposed its pathogenesis remains obscure. Tamm-Horsfall protein has been identified in the superficial urothelium of patients with interstitial cystitis demonstrating abnormal urothelial permeability. Eight patients with a clinical diagnosis of interstitial cystitis underwent cystoscopy and bladder biopsy. Characteristic cystoscopic findings were present, and each patient had chronic inflammation and mast cells by histopathological analysis. Preoperative anti-Tamm-Horsfall protein serum antibody (IgG) titers were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (range 500 to 8,000, mean 2,750). A control group of 8 patients with a negative urological history also had titers of 0 to 500 (p = 0.02). The humoral response to Tamm-Horsfall protein in these patients suggests a role for Tamm-Horsfall protein in interstitial cystitis. Measurement of serum Tamm-Horsfall protein antibody may prove to be useful as a noninvasive diagnostic test in patients with this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-39
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • bladder, cystitis, autoantibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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