Monthly Archives: May 2013

Background: Pemphigus vulgaris was almost fatal before the advent of glucocorticoids. Unfortunately, the high doses and prolonged administration of glucocorticoids, which often needed to control the disease, result in numerous adverse effects many of which are serious.

Aims: To evaluate the patients with pemphigus vulgaris on treatment in respect of osteoporosis and to compare the frequency of osteoporosis in these patients with the healthy ones.

Methods: The study consisted of 40 patients with pemphigus vulgaris and 34 healthy controls. Bone mineral density measurements were obtained by dual- energy X-ray absorptiometry. Blood serum, bone parameters, and biochemical hormonal measurements were examined in both groups.

Results: When the bone mineral density values of patients with pemphigus vulgaris were compared with those of the control group, there was no significant difference between hip bone mineral density values, while lumbar region T and Z scores were found significantly low in the patient group (p = 0.034 and p = 0.006, respectively). Osteoporosis, osteopenia, and normal dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry rates in the patient group were found to be 32.5%, 32.5%, and 35%, respectively. These rates were found to be 18%, 23%, and 59% in control group, respectively. There were more fractures in the patient group and the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.004). 

Conclusion: An increase in osteoporosis frequency and secondary fracture to osteoporosis in the patients with pemphigus vulgaris was detected.

Full acticle can be viewed at: Indian Journal of Dermatology

IMPORTANCE A rare variant of mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) is characterized by circulating anti-laminin 332 (Lam332) autoantibodies and seems to be associated with concurrent malignant neoplasms.

OBJECTIVE To determine the prevalence and clinical significance of anti-Lam332 autoantibody detection from a large series of patients with MMP. DESIGN Multicenter retrospective study.

SETTING Four French national centers for autoimmune bullous diseases.

PARTICIPANTS One hundred fifty-four patients with MMP and 89 individuals serving as controls were included.

INTERVENTIONS Serum samples were analyzed by a new Lam332 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); clinical and immunopathologic data were obtained from the patients’ medical records.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The Lam332 ELISA scores were evaluated with respect to clinical characteristics, standard and salt-split indirect immunofluorescence, and bullous pemphigoid (BP) 230 and BP180-NC16A ELISAs.

RESULTS The Lam332 ELISA score was positive (≥9 U/mL) in 20.1% of serum samples from patients with MMP, 1 of 50 patients with bullous pemphigoid (BP), none of 7 with pemphigus, and 3 of 32 other controls. No relationship was evidenced between a positive ELISA Lam332 score and age; sex ratio; oral, ocular, genital, skin, or esophageal/laryngeal involvement; internal malignant neoplasm; or BP180 ELISA score. Salt-split skin indirect immunofluorescence and ELISA BP230 results were more frequently positive when Lam332 ELISA results were positive (P = .04 and .02, respectively). Patients with a positive Lam332 ELISA score frequently had more severe MMP (67.8% vs 47.2%; P = .04).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Results of this novel ELISA showed that serum anti-Lam332 autoantibodies are detected in 20.1% of patients with MMP. Anti-Lam332 autoantibodies are mainly detected in patients with severe MMP but not preferentially in those with a malignant neoplasm. The association between anti-Lam332 and anti-BP230 autoantibodies might arise from an epitope-spreading phenomenon.

JAMA dermatology (Chicago, Ill.)

Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a paradigm of autoimmune disease affecting intercellular adhesion. The mechanisms that lead to cell–cell detachment (acantholysis) have crucial therapeutic implications and are currently undergoing major scrutiny. The first part of this review focuses on the classical view of the pathogenesis of PV, which is dominated by the cell adhesion molecules of the desmosome, namely desmogleins (Dsgs). Cloning of the DSG3 gene, generation DSG3 knock-out mice and isolation of monoclonal anti-Dsg3 IgG have aided to clarify the pathogenic mechanisms of PV, which are in part dependent on the fate of desmosomal molecules. These include perturbation of the desmosomal network at the transcriptional, translational, and interaction level, kinase activation, proteinase-mediated degradation, and hyper-adhesion. By the use of PV models, translational research has in turn helped shed light into the basic structure, function, and dynamics of assembly of desmosomal cadherins. The combined efforts of basic and applied research has resulted in tremendous advance into the understanding of epidermal adhesion and helped debunk old myths on the supposedly unique role of desmogleins in the mechanisms of cell–cell detachment in PV.