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Int J Dermatol. 1998 Jul;37(7):524-31.

Autoantibodies to autologous skin in guttate and plaque forms of psoriasis and cross-reaction of skin antigens with streptococcal antigens.

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  • 1Departamento de Inmunología, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Hospital General de México, Mexico.



Psoriasis is a chronic disease of the skin that appears to be of autoimmune nature. It has a strong association with throat streptococcal infections, as well as with stressful events. Although many groups consider psoriasis to be a T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease, autoantibodies could also play a role in the development of this process.


In this work, we looked for autoantibodies to psoriatic skin in 21 psoriatic patients and four healthy donors (controls). The immunoperoxidase technique was used to look for autoantibodies in autologous sera in skin sections obtained from lesions or from healthy areas of the same patient, before and after immunoadsorption with a Streptococcus pyogenes extract. The skin biopsies were also analyzed with a pool of sera from mice immunized with the streptococcal extract.


We found that all psoriatic patients had autoantibodies to antigens present in keratinocytes, whereas healthy subjects did not. These antibodies did not recognize epitopes on healthy skin from the same psoriatic patients or controls. Immunoadsorption of autologous sera removed the reactivity to antigens in skin lesions in all cases. Mouse anti-streptococcal sera recognized epidermal antigens present in lesional psoriatic skin, but not in healthy skin from psoriatic patients or controls. Deposits of immunoglobulin G (IgG) were not detected in the lesions.


It seems that autoantibodies, although they do not appear to participate in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, are an important feature, and that skin antigens, which appear in lesional immature keratinocytes, cross-react with S. pyogenes and contribute to the autoimmune process in psoriasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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