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Br J Dermatol. 2005 Sep;153(3):558-64.

Autoantibody production from a thymoma and a follicular dendritic cell sarcoma associated with paraneoplastic pemphigus.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Peking University First Hospital, 8 Xishiku St, Beijing 100034, China.



Paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP) is an autoimmune mucocutaneous disease. We previously reported that B cells in a Castleman tumour associated with PNP produced autoantibodies. However, it is uncertain whether the production of autoantibodies from the associated tumour is a common mechanism in PNP.


To investigate autoantibody production in a thymoma and a follicular dendritic cell sarcoma that were excised from two patients with PNP.


Tumour cells were cultured, and their surface markers were identified. Indirect immunofluorescence, immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using culture media from the tumours were used to detect PNP autoantibodies.


B cells with markers (CD22+, surface membrane IgG+ and surface membrane IgM+) of mature B lymphocytes constituted a proportion of cultured tumour cells in both tumours. Western blot showed that the medium from both the thymoma and the follicular dendritic cell sarcoma cells recognized 190-kDa periplakin and 210-kDa envoplakin bands of human epithelial proteins as well as recombinant linker regions of periplakin, envoplakin, desmoplakin and bullous pemphigoid antigen 1. ELISA was positive for antidesmoglein 3 antibody.


The presence and localization in tumours of B-lymphocyte clones against proteins of the plakin family and desmoglein 3 in skin may not be confined to PNP with Castleman disease, but is possibly a common mechanism in PNP associated with various tumours.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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