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Clin Immunol. 2007 Feb;122(2):207-13. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Oral pemphigoid autoantibodies preferentially target BP180 ectodomain.

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Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, IDI-IRCCS, Rome, Italy.


Mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) comprises a heterogenous group of autoimmune subepithelial bullous diseases very frequently having oral involvement. Very few studies have investigated the immunological status of a subset of MMP, termed oral pemphigoid (OP), presenting with exclusive oral lesions. In this study we show that 75% of 20 OP patients without scarring phenotype possessed circulating autoantibodies against the BP180 molecule, indicating a prominent role of this protein as a target antigen in OP. Of note, the frequency of reactivity against BP180 ectodomain epitopes in OP was similar to that previously reported for MMP with cicatricial phenotype, while the lack of significant recognition of BP180 intracellular domain appears to characterize OP with respect to other diseases of the pemphigoid group. Finally, the combined use of sensitive techniques allowed the detection of circulating autoantibodies in 90% of OP patients, supporting the usefulness of this approach in the diagnosis of MMP disease.

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