• ITP;
  • platelet;
  • antibody;
  • ELISA;
  • glycoprotein

Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a disorder caused by anti-platelet autoantibodies (Ab), most of which are directed against epitopes on platelet membrane glycoprotein complexes GPIIb/IIIa and GPIb/IX. To detect platelet Ab, reliable techniques, such as MAIPA or immunobead assay, have been developed. They all achieve their selective specificity by the use of monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) against defined glycoproteins of the platelet membrane. In order to determine the most frequent Ab-specificities, a novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, named platelet-glycoprotein-ELISA (P-GP-ELISA), has been developed. It uses purified GPIIb/IIIa and GPIb/IX complexes, respectively, as antigens and enables determination of platelet-associated as well as circulating Ab (IgG, IgM). MoAbs are not required and therefore there is no risk of competition between MoAb and Ab. Levels of Ab in patients with the clinical diagnosis of an idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura were analysed. 92.7% (76/82) platelet eluates with significantly increased levels of Ab against at least one of the glycoproteins were found, whereas no sample from healthy volunteers (0/37) gave a positive result, pointing to a high sensitivity and specificity of the test system. Since its application is also easy and quick, P-GP-ELISA should facilitate detection of Ab against platelet membrane proteins in routine determinations.