Antibodies to desmogleins 1 and 3, but not to BP180, induce blisters in human skin grafted onto SCID mice

J Pathol. 2001 Jan;193(1):117-24. doi: 10.1002/1096-9896(2000)9999:9999<::AID-PATH742>3.0.CO;2-W.

Abstract

Pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid (BP) are blistering skin diseases associated with IgG autoantibodies to desmosomal and hemidesmosomal components. When autoantibodies to desmogleins 1 and 3 from patients with pemphigus foliaceus (PF) and pemphigus vulgaris (PV) or rabbit antibodies against the murine hemidesmosomal component BP180 are passively transferred into neonatal mice, they induce blisters in the skin of the mice. To develop an animal model that would duplicate the findings in the skin of the patients more closely, full-thickness human skin from healthy volunteers was grafted onto SCID mice. Injection of the purified IgG fraction from the serum of PF and PV patients led to subcorneal and suprabasal splits in the human grafts and human IgG was deposited intercellularly in the upper and lower layers of the epidermis, respectively. Interestingly, anti-BP180 autoantibodies purified from the serum of BP patients and from a rabbit immunized with recombinant human BP180 strongly bound to the basement membrane zone of the grafts (n=32), fixed murine complement, led to the recruitment of neutrophils to the upper dermis of the graft, but did not induce subepidermal blisters. We report a novel experimental model for PF and PV which should greatly facilitate further studies to dissect the immunopathological mechanisms in these diseases. Specifically, this model can be used to identify pathogenically relevant epitopes on human desmogleins 1 and 3 and to develop novel strategies for the treatment of pemphigus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Basement Membrane / immunology
  • Cadherins / immunology*
  • Complement C3 / immunology
  • Desmoglein 1
  • Desmoglein 3
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Direct
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neutrophil Infiltration / immunology
  • Non-Fibrillar Collagens
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / immunology*
  • Pemphigus / immunology*
  • Skin Transplantation / immunology

Substances

  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Cadherins
  • Complement C3
  • DSG3 protein, human
  • Desmoglein 1
  • Desmoglein 3
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Non-Fibrillar Collagens
  • collagen type XVII