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Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Oct;4(5):367-71.

Autoimmunity and atopic dermatitis.

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Department of Pathophysiology, Division of Immunopathology, Vienna General Hospital, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



It has been demonstrated that a considerable percentage of patients suffering from atopic dermatitis mount IgE autoantibodies against a broad variety of human proteins. This review summarizes evidence for autoimmune mechanisms in atopic dermatitis and suggests novel pathomechanisms that may be involved in this disease.


It has been shown that patients suffering from atopic dermatitis exhibit IgE autoreactivity to human proteins. These autoantigens are expressed in a variety of cell and tissue types. Complementary DNAs coding for IgE autoantigens have been identified, cloned and characterized at the molecular level. Using purified recombinant IgE autoantigens, it has been shown in paradigmatic models that IgE autoimmunity may be a pathogenetic mechanism in atopic dermatitis. Moreover, it has been shown that the levels of IgE autoantibodies are associated with severity of disease.


Patients suffering from severe manifestations of atopy mount IgE autoantibodies against a variety of human proteins. The levels of IgE autoantibodies correspond with disease severity. Several mechanisms of IgE autoimmunity may contribute to the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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