Tag Archives: pemphigus foliaceus

Background:  Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) and pemphigus foliaceus (PF) are potentially fatal blistering diseases caused by autoantibodies targeting desmoglein adhesion proteins. Previous studies have shown an IgG4>IgG1 predominance of anti-desmoglein antibodies in pemphigus; however, no studies have examined total serum IgG4 levels in pemphigus. IgG4 is induced by chronic antigen stimulation, which could occur with persistent skin blistering and potentially elevate the total serum IgG4 relative to other IgG subclasses in pemphigus patients.

Objectives:  The primary aim of the study was to quantitate total and desmoglein-specific IgG subclasses in pemphigus patients.

Methods:  IgG subclasses and desmoglein-specific IgG1 and IgG4 were quantitated in PV, PF, and age-matched normal sera using a subclass ELISA. The effectiveness of IgG4 depletion in blocking PV IgG pathogenicity was determined using a keratinocyte dissociation assay.

Results:  Desmoglein-specific antibodies comprised a median of 7.1% and 4.2% of total IgG4 in PV and PF patients, with 8-fold and 4-fold enrichment in IgG4 versus IgG1. Total serum IgG4, but not other IgG subclasses, was enriched in PV and PF patients compared to age-matched controls (p=0.004 and p=0.005, respectively). IgG4 depletion of PV sera reduced pathogenicity in a keratinocyte dissociation assay and showed that affinity-purified IgG4 is more pathogenic than other serum IgG fractions.

Conclusions:  Desmoglein-specific autoantibodies are significantly enriched in IgG4, which may explain the enrichment of total serum IgG4 in some pemphigus patients. By preferentially targeting autoimmune rather than beneficial immune antibodies, IgG4-targeted therapies may offer safer treatment options for pemphigus.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11144.x/abstract

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO, also eponymously known as Devic’s disease) is an immune‐mediated demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that can lead to significant disability. Pediatric NMO is a rare disorder often reported after an infection. The authors report a 16year-old female patient with pemphigus foliaceus who developed subacute optic neuritis followed by cervical transverse myelitis. Restricted distribution of the lesions in the optic nerve and spinal cord was confirmed by ophthalmological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spinal cord. She was started on intravenous methylprednisolone and then given a maintenance oral prednisone. Subsequently, she was treated with a nonsteroidal immunosuppressant, mycophenolate mofetil, with a target dose of 1000mg twice a day. Over the course of months, patient noted significant recovery of previous deficits and resolution of the cervical cord enhancement, expansion and cystic dilatation that was previously seen. This case is noteworthy for being the first patient reported with neuromyelitis optica associated with pemphigus foliaceus.

 

Source: http://www.jns-journal.com/article/PIIS0022510X12002183/abstract

Herpes virus infections are well known infectious complications of pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid. We describe pathologic findings utilizing autopsy tissue from several organs from a patient affected by a new variant of endemic pemphigus in El Bagre, Colombia, South America.

We describe a patient by a new variant of endemic pemphigus foliaceus from El Bagre that was receiving high-dosage immunosuppressants when hospitalized and died suddenly following contact with a second patient affected by chicken pox.

We performed studies utilizing hematoxylin and eosin, immunohistochemistry, and direct immunofluorescence techniques on tissues from several organs.

We detected the presence of varicella zoster virus, as well as strong positivity for α-1 antitrypsin in the heart, kidneys, spleen, liver, skin, brain, lungs, pancreas, small and large intestines, and skeletal muscle. In regard to structural damage in the kidney and heart, we believe the observed damage is associated with the presence of autoantibodies to these organs, since both of them are rich in plakins and El Bagre-EPF patients present significant antibodies to plakin molecules.

In patients with endemic pemphigus foliaceus, we recommend complete isolation of the patient when receiving high dosages of systemic immunosuppressive agents. We further suggest the clinical possibility of a synergistic, fatal interaction between active pemphigus foliaceus, varicella zoster virus, herpes simplex virus, immunosuppressive agents, and a systemic activation of α-1 antitrypsin. Thus, we suggest adequate bed spacing, barrier nursing, and preventative testing for α-1 antitrypsin activation are warranted in these patients to address these complications.

 

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05296.x/abstract