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Pathogenicity of autoantibodies in anti-p200 pemphigoid.

Recently, the C-terminus of laminin γ1 has been identified as target antigen in anti-p200 pemphigoid and the disease was renamed as anti-laminin γ1 pemphigoid. However, the pathogenic relevance of these autoantibodies has not yet been demonstrated. Therefore, we employed an ex vivo model of autoantibody-mediated leukocyte-dependent neutrophil activation and dermal-epidermal separation (DES) using cryosections of human skin. We showed that anti-p200 pemphigoid sera (n = 7) induced DES in a time-dependent manner, in contrast to sera from healthy controls. Furthermore, laminin γ1-specific IgG and serum depleted from anti-laminin γ1 reactivity were generated using the recombinant C-terminus of laminin γ1 (LAMC1-term; amino acids 1364 to 1609). Interestingly, both fractions labeled the dermal-epidermal-junction (DEJ) by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy on human foreskin and recognized a 200 kDa protein by immunoblotting with dermal extract. Human and rabbit IgG against LAMC1-cterm failed to attract neutrophils at the DEJ and to induce DES. In contrast, patient serum depleted from LAMC1-cterm reactivity led to the same extent of DES as non-depleted IgG. Repeated injection of rabbit anti-murine LAMC1-cterm IgG into both neonatal and adult C57BL/6mice as well as repetitive immunization of various mouse strains with murine LAMC1-cterm failed to induce macro- and microscopic lesions. In all mice, circulating anti-LAMC1-cterm antibodies were present, but only in some mice, IgG deposits were seen at the DEJ. We conclude that autoantibodies in anti-p200 pemphigoid sera are pathogenic while pathogenicity is not mediated by autoantibodies against laminin γ1. Further studies are needed to identify the pathogenically relevant autoantigen in anti-p200 pemphigoid.

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