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J Dermatol Sci. 2004 Jun;35(1):53-9.

Elevated expression of CD23 on peripheral blood B lymphocytes from patients with bullous pemphigoid: correlation with increased serum IgE.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa 920-8641, Japan.



Increased serum IgE levels are occasionally found in patients with severe bullous pemphigoid (BP). CD23, a low affinity Fc receptor for IgE, is mainly expressed on mature B lymphocytes. Studies have suggested that serum levels of soluble CD23 (sCD23) correlate with serum IgE levels and disease severity in BP.


The purpose of our study is to examine whether the expression of CD23 is elevated in BP and whether this expression correlates with serum IgE levels and disease severity.


We measured CD23 expression on B cells from patients with active BP, pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus foliaceus, and atopic dermatitis (AD), as well as healthy control subjects, using a flow cytometer. Serum levels of IgE and sCD23 were also measured.


The expression of CD23 was significantly higher in BP patients compared with healthy control subjects (P < 0.05), whereas the levels were normal in the other bullous diseases. CD23 expression tended to be higher in severe BP compared with moderate BP, and the levels in severe BP were comparable to the levels in AD. Furthermore, CD23 expression correlated positively with serum IgE levels (P < 0.002), and the IgE levels were significantly higher in severe BP than in moderate BP (P < 0.01 ). CD23 expression in BP did not correlate with sCD23 levels.


These results suggest that the up-regulated surface CD23 on B cells may be involved in IgE synthesis and inflammatory events in BP.

Copyright 2004 Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology

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