Frequency of IgA antibodies in pemphigus, bullous pemphigoid and mucous membrane pemphigoid

Acta Derm Venereol. 2004;84(5):381-4. doi: 10.1080/00015550410031825.


Circulating and bound IgA antibodies can be found in the autoimmune blistering diseases, but their prevalence, clinical relevance and target antigens remain unknown. Thirty-two patients with pemphigus, 73 with bullous pemphigoid and 28 with mucous membrane pemphigoid were studied retrospectively. Direct immunofluorescence (DIF) analysis of IgG, IgA, IgM and C3 was carried out for all cases. Sera were studied by standard indirect immunofluorescence, indirect immunofluorescence on salt-split skin, immunoblotting for bullous pemphigoid and mucous membrane pemphigoid and ELISA for pemphigus. With DIF, we found IgA autoantibodies in 22 of all 133 cases. Circulating IgA antibodies to skin were detected in 2 of 3 IgA-DIF-positive patients with pemphigus, in 3 of 6 with bullous pemphigoid, and in 6 of 13 with mucous membrane pemphigoid. We confirm that the IgA reactivity is more frequently associated with mucous membrane involvement, especially in cases without critical involvement (5/8). The role of IgA and its antigenic specificity in these diseases remain unclear.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology*
  • Male
  • Pemphigoid, Benign Mucous Membrane / immunology*
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / immunology*
  • Pemphigus / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin A