Tag Archives: pemphigus vulgaris

Last year was shaping up to be a very important year. I had just gotten an associate degree in journalism and was all set to transfer to a four-year university in the fall to pursue my B.A. On top of that, I turned 21 in February and was looking forward to savoring all the exciting things young adulthood had to offer. It was during this very same month that everything changed.

Working for the IPPF has been something I have been interested in doing for about five years, since my pemphigus vulgaris finally got under control. I knew from my first contact with the Foundation that this is an amazing group of people. I am proud of the way our community pulls together and rallies for each other; it’s amazing how we sincerely care about one another.

As a Patient Educator for the IPPF, I have the fantastic opportunity to travel around the country to different dental schools and give lectures on my journey with pemphigus vulgaris (PV). It’s an empowering experience to have a hundred people listen to my story at once. But it’s also important that the audience relates to me. I’m a person, not just a patient.

While you are seeing a qualified dermatologist who is treating you for your Pemphigus Vulgaris, Bullous Pemphigoid, Pemphigus Foliaceus, Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid, etc. you might also be seeing your own dentist, OB/GYN, internist, ophthalmologist or ear/nose/throat specialist.

Please be sure that all of your doctors are aware of your condition and that they have access to your dermatologist.  It is important that they know the medications and dosage that you are taking for each medication.

All of your doctors need to be able to communicate with one another if necessary.  Being left in the dark will leave you at a disadvantage.  Also, if you are going to be scheduled for any major dental work, advise your dermatologist.  Depending on the procedure, your medications may be adjusted for a few days prior and a few days following to prevent any flare-ups.

Remember when you need us we are in your corner!

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.

From: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15419061.2013.763799

There are a limited number of reports indicating the role of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I alleles in pemphigus vulgaris. This study was designed to highlight the association of HLA class I alleles with pemphigus vulgaris in Iran. Fifty patients with pemphigus vulgaris, diagnosed based on clinical, histological and direct immunofluorescence findings were enrolled into this study. The control group consisted of 50 healthy, age- and sex-matched individuals. HLA typing of class I (A, B and C alleles) was carried out using polymerase chain reaction based on the sequence-specific primer method. This study showed the higher frequency of HLA-B*44:02 (= 0.007), -C*04:01 (< 0.001), -C*15:02 (< 0.001) and -C*16:01 (= 0.027) in the patient group, compared to the controls, while the frequency of HLA-C*06:02 (< 0.001) and -C*18:01 (= 0.008) in the patients with pemphigus vulgaris was significantly lower than the controls. Regarding the linkage disequilibrium between HLA class I alleles, the HLA-A*03:01, -B*51:01, -C*16:02 haplotype (4% vs 0%,= 0.04) is suggested to be a predisposing factor, whereas HLA-A*26:01, -B*38, -C*12:03 haplotype (0% vs 6%, = 0.01) is suggested to be a protective factor. In conclusion, it is suggested that HLA-B*44:02, -C*04:01, -C*15:02 alleles and HLA-A*03:01, -B*51:01, -C*16:02 haplotype are susceptibility factors for development of pemphigus vulgaris in the Iranian population, while HLA-C*06:02, -C*18:01 alleles and HLA-A*26:01, -B*38, -C*12:03 haplotype may be considered as protective alleles.

Full article available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1346-8138.12071/abstract;jsessionid=B90D811159F2CE1C4C357306A37A9D15.d04t04

Human epidermis shows a non-neuronal cholinergic system including keratinocyte (kc) acetylcholine (Ach) axis which is composed by enzymes and two families of Ach receptors (muscarinic and nicotinic receptors). The activity of these two receptors can regulate the interkeratinocytes and kcs-extracellular matrix adhesion modifying the regulation of intercellular adhesion molecules like cadherins and integrins. Some authors demonstrate that acantholysis in pemphigus depends not only on anti desmogleins antibodies (abs) (mostly IgG) but even on other abs directed against kc membrane antigens (e.g. anti Ach receptors Abs). In the early phase of pemphigus pathogenesis, anti Ach receptors Abs block Ach signaling essential for cell shape and intercellular adhesion and increase the phosphorylation of adhesion molecules. Combined with the action of abs antidesmogleins, anti Ach receptors Abs cause the acantholytic phenomenon. In vitro experiments show that high doses of Ach in acantholytic kcs can rapidly reverse this pathologic event. In vivo experiments using neonatal mice model of Pemphigus have demonstrated that cholinergic agonists reduce these lesions. Therapy with pyridostigmine bromide and Nicotinamide per os or pilocarpine used topically, drugs that present cholinomimetic effects, has

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lead to encouraging results in patients affected by Pemphigus disease. Cholinergic agents could have a strategic role in the therapy of pemphigus since they could be responsible for the early stage of acantholytic diseases.

Full article available at: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/aiaamc/2012/00000011/00000003/art00008

Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune mucocutaneous disease presenting clinically with blisters or erosions of the skin and mucous membrane. The main histopathologic characteristic of this disease is suprabasal vesicles due to loss of cell–cell adhesion between keratinocytes named acantholysis. Studies have shown that apoptosis is increased in PV. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of apoptosis in blister formation in PV.


This cross-sectional study was conducted on 25 specimens of oral PV. The presence of apoptosis was evaluated using the TUNEL technique in the normal perilesional region, vesicle area, and acantholytic cells. Also, the expression of Bax pro-apoptotic marker was assessed by the biotin–streptavidin immunohistochemical method. SPSS software was used for Wilcoxon test analysis. P values <0.05 were considered significant.


The percentage and intensity staining of TUNEL-positive cells were noteworthy. There were statistically significant differences between basal and parabasal) = 0.05 (, tombstone with vesicle roof (= 0.038) and basal with tombstone (= 0.038). However, the expression and staining intensity of pro-apoptotic marker Bax were weak, and no statistically significant differences were observed between the various areas.


The results obtained in the present study suggest that the process of apoptosis occurs early in PV because it was observed in the perilesional normal appearing tissue. Also, the process of apoptosis may cause exacerbation or speeding of the bulla formation. In other words, inhibition of apoptosis in the patients could reduce the severity of the lesions.

Full article available here: http://www.medworm.com/index.php?rid=6781830&cid=c_297_32_f&fid=28436&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonlinelibrary.wiley.com%2Fresolve%2Fdoi%3FDOI%3D10.1111%252Fjop.12022

Introduction: Though oral aphthosis is common, it has a significant impact on the quality of life in the patients. It is the most common oral ulcerative condition encountered in clinical practice. This study describes the characteristics and patterns of oral aphthosis seen at a tertiary dermatological centre in Singapore, with emphasis in evaluating the management gaps and in identifying underlying systemic diseases and nutritional deficiencies. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective review of medical records over a 10-year period between June 2000 and June 2010. Two hundred and thirteen patients were identified using the search terms ‘oral ulcers’, ‘aphthous ulcers’, ‘oral aphthosis’, and ‘Behcet’s disease’. Patients with Behcet’s disease without oral ulcers and other diagnoses such as pemphigus vulgaris, lichen planus and herpes simplex were

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excluded. The remaining patients were evaluated with regard to demographic characteristics, characteristics of oral ulcers, associated connective tissue disorders and nutritional deficiencies, diagnostic tests results, treatment response as well as follow-up duration. Results: One hundred and seventy-five patients were included in this study. One hundred and one patients had recurrent oral aphthosis, with 77 having simple aphthosis and 24 having complex aphthosis. Fourteen patients (8%) fulfilled the International Study Criteria (ISG) for Behcet’s disease, of which, 85.71% had complex aphthosis. The therapeutic ladder for such patients ranged from topical steroids and colchicine through to oral corticosteroids and/or dapsone therapy. Conclusion: Recurrent oral aphthosis is a niche condition in which dermatologists are well-poised to manage. This study demonstrates that a more definitive management and therapeutic algorithm for oral aphthosis are needed for better management patients in the future. In particular, complex aphthosis needs to be monitored for progression onto Behcet’s disease.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138144?dopt=Abstract

Pemphigus is a rare vesiculobullous autoimmune disease that exhibits blistering of the skin and oral cavity. It is caused by autoantibodies directed against antigens on the surface of keratinocytes. All forms of pemphigus are associated with the presence of circulating and skin-fixed autoantibodies. Pemphigus vegetans is a rare clinical variant of pemphigus vulgaris and comprises up to 5 percent of all pemphigus cases. In the following we present the oral presentation of pemphigus vegetans. We describe a 33-year-old man who was referred to our clinic complaining about mouth sores, tooth pain, and multiple pustules. During clinical exam we were able to recognize multiple pustules, ulcerated areas on the gingiva, and whitish mucosal plaques. Clinical, histopathological, and direct immunofluorescence findings were compatible with pemphigus vegetans.

Full article available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23122017?dopt=Abstract