Elevated gliadin antibody levels in individuals with schizophrenia

Olaoluwa Okusaga, Robert H. Yolken, Patricia Langenberg, Aamar Sleemi, Deanna L. Kelly, Dipika Vaswani, Ina Giegling, Annette M. Hartmann, Bettina Konte, Marion Friedl, Farooq Mohyuddin, Maureen W. Groer, Dan Rujescu, Teodor T. Postolache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objectives. We aimed to replicate, in a larger sample and in a different geographical location, the previously reported elevation of anti-gliadin IgG antibodies in schizophrenia. Methods. A total of 950 adults with schizophrenia (severity assessed by PANSS) and 1000 healthy controls were recruited in the Munich metropolitan area. Anti-gliadin IgG antibodies were analyzed with ELISA. χ2-tests and logistic regression were used to analyze the association of schizophrenia with elevated anti-gliadin IgG. A multivariable general linear model was used to compare anti-gliadin IgG levels between patients and controls. Results. The odds ratio of having elevated anti-gliadin IgG antibodies in the schizophrenia group was 2.13 (95% CI 1.57 to 2.91, p < 0.0001). Mean anti-gliadin IgG levels were higher in schizophrenia patients (0.81 ± 0.79 vs. 0.52 ± 0.56, t = 9.529, df = 1,697, p < 0.0001) and the difference persisted after adjusting for potential confounders. Conclusions. Our study, limited by its cross sectional design, confirmed an association between anti-gliadin IgG antibodies and schizophrenia. Replication in longitudinal studies, clinical trials of gluten free diet and mechanistic investigation could lead to novel treatment targets, preventive and therapeutic considerations in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-515
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Anti-gliadin IgG antibody
  • Celiac
  • Gliadin
  • Gluten sensitivity
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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