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The relationship between bullous pemphigoid (BP) and neurological disease has been the subject of numerous recent studies and BP antigens and their isoforms have been identified in the central nervous system (CNS). Whilst epidemiological data support this association, little is known about the pathomechanism behind this link and the immunological characteristics of patients with BP and neurological disease, other than multiple sclerosis (MS), has not been studied. We aimed to compare the cutaneous immune response in BP patients with and without neurological disease, to investigate whether or not there is a distinctive immunopathological profile in patients with concomitant BP and neurological disease. Seventy-two patients with BP were included and divided into two groups; those with neurological disease (BP+N, n = 43) and those without (BP−N, n = 29).

Patients in BP+N group had a confirmed neurological disease by a hospital physician, neurologist or psychiatrist with positive neurological imaging where appropriate, or a Karnofsky score of 50 or less due to mental impairment. All sera were analysed with indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) using serial dilutions up to 1:120000, immunoblotting (IB) and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for BP180 and BP230. Median antibody titres by IIF were 1:1600 vs. 1:800 for BP−N and BP+N, respectively, although the difference did not reach statistic significance (P = 0.93, Mann–Whitney U-test).

ELISA values for both BP180 and BP230 did not differ significantly between the two groups. Similarly, autoantibodies to specific antigens as identified by ELISA and IB were not related to the presence of neurological disease. The results of this study indicate that patients with BP and neurological disease exhibit an immune response to both BP180 and BP230, thus the link between the CNS and the skin is not dependent on a specific antigen, but possibly both antigens or their isoforms may be exposed following a neurological insult, and play a role in generation of an immune response. 

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Bullous pemphigoid is an autoimmune blistering skin disease characterized by the presence of circulating autoantibodies which recognize specific proteins of the epidermis and dermoepidermal junction. Diagnosis is based on clinical criteria and laboratory investigations, notably histology, direct and indirect immunofluorescence, and ELISA. This study describes a new immunofluorescence assay for parallel determination of anti-BP180 and anti-BP230 based on recombinant antigenic substrates. The aim of the study was to detect BP180 and BP230 autoantibodies by BIOCHIP technology using both a specially designed recombinant BP180-NC16A protein and cells expressing the BP230-gc antigen fragment. 18 patients with bullous pemphigoid were included in the study. Autoantibodies to BP180 were detected by the BIOCHIP technique in 83.33% of patients with clinical, serological, and immunohistological confirmed bullous pemphigoid while autoantibodies against BP230-gC were detected only in 39% of patients. The detection of anti-BP180-NC16A and anti-BP230-gC by a new biochip-based immunoassay is a suitable alternative to indirect immunofluorescence and ELISA. This method has the advantage of easily discriminating the different autoantibody specificities. The BIOCHIP method is faster, cheaper, and easy to use when compared with the ELISA approach. For this reason, the new method could be used as an initial screening test to identify patients with bullous pemphigoid, and doubtful results could then be confirmed by ELISA.

Full article (free) found here: http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/dermatology/2012/237802/

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Systematic reviews and meta-analysis are essential tools to accurately and reliably summarize evidence, and can be used as a starting point for developing practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

AIM:

To estimate the diagnostic accuracy of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to detect anti-BP180 and anti-desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) autoantibodies in the diagnosis of autoimmune blistering skin diseases.

METHODS:

A Medline search of English written articles, published between 1994 and 2011, reporting data on the sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests was conducted using the following search terms: “BP180 autoantibodies”, “Dsg3 autoantibodies”, and “enzyme linked immunosorbent assay”. The selected articles have been evaluated according to the quality of the statistical methods used to calculate diagnostic accuracy (definition of cutoff value, use of ROC curves, and selection of control cases). The meta-analysis was performed using a summary ROC (SROC) curve and a random-effect model to independently combine sensitivity and specificity across studies.

RESULTS:

The search yielded 69 publications on BP180 autoantibodies and 178 on Dsg3 autoantibodies. A total of 30 studies met the inclusion criteria: 17 provided data on the assays to detect autoantibodies to BP180 in a sample of 583 patients with bullous pemphigoid (BP), while 13 studies provided data on the assays to search for anti-Dsg3 autoantibodies in a sample of 1058 patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV). The 17 studies on BP180 autoantibodies yielded a pooled sensitivity of 0.87 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85 to 0.89) and a pooled specificity of 0.98 (CI, 0.98 to 0.99). The area under the curve (AUC) for the SROC curve was 0.988, and the summary diagnostic odds ratio was 374.91 (CI, 249.97 to 562.30). The 13 studies on Dsg3 autoantibodies which met the inclusion criteria, yielded a pooled sensitivity of 0.97 (CI, 0.95 to 0.98), and a pooled specificity of 0.98 (CI, 0.98 to 0.99). The AUC for the SROC curve was 0.995 and the summary diagnostic odds ratio was 1466.11 (95% CI, 750.36 to 2864.61).

CONCLUSIONS:

Results of the meta-analysis demonstrated that ELISA tests for anti-BP180 and anti-Dsg3 autoantibodies have high sensitivity and specificity for BP and PV, respectively, and can be used in daily laboratory practice for the initial diagnosis of autoimmune blistering skin diseases.
PMID: 22781589 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher] (Source: Autoimmunity Reviews)

from MedWorm: Pemphigus http://www.medworm.com/index.php?rid=6303276&cid=c_297_3_f&fid=34528&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2FPubMed%2F22781589%3Fdopt%3DAbstract