Characteristics of IgG subclasses and complement deposition in BP230-type bullous pemphigoid

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2019 Mar;33(3):595-600. doi: 10.1111/jdv.15325. Epub 2018 Nov 28.


Background: Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is the most common autoimmune blistering disease. BP180 is the primary autoantigen of BP, and in a portion of BP cases, BP230 is the only target of autoantibodies. Such BP is called BP230-type BP. BP230-type BP tends to show milder clinical phenotypes than conventional BP, but the reason is unclear. The pathogenic roles of autoantibodies and complement activation have been shown in conventional BP, but the distribution of IgG subclasses and the degree of complement deposition in BP230-type BP remain unclear.

Objective: To compare the distribution of IgG subclasses and the degree of complement deposition in BP230-type BP with those in conventional BP with autoantibodies to BP180 and BP230 (BP180-BP230-type BP).

Methods: The diagnosis of BP was confirmed by the histopathology of the lesions, the deposition of IgG and complement in the perilesional skin and the presence of circulating autoantibodies to BP180 and BP230. The disease severity was determined by bullous pemphigoid disease area index. The deposition of IgG subclasses and complement deposition were examined by direct immunofluorescence of the perilesional skin in 6 BP230-type BP cases and 11 BP180-BP230-type BP cases.

Results: Sixty seven percent of BP230-type BP cases show a mild clinical phenotype. All BP230-type BP cases and 82% of BP180-BP230-type BP cases were found to demonstrate the clear deposition of IgG4 at the basement membrane zone of skin specimens. Notably, the deposition of IgG1 and IgG3 was faint or negative in all of the BP230-type BP cases, whereas they were clearly detected in 91% and 64% of the BP180-BP230-type BP cases, respectively. The deposition of complement C3 tended to be weaker in BP230-type BP than in BP180-BP230-type BP.

Conclusion: The mild clinical phenotype of BP230-type BP may correlate with the weaker deposition of IgG1, IgG3 and complement in the skin lesions.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Complement C3 / metabolism*
  • Dystonin / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-Fibrillar Collagens / immunology*
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / blood
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Complement C3
  • DST protein, human
  • Dystonin
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Non-Fibrillar Collagens
  • collagen type XVII