Investigations on the nature and pathogenicity of circulating antikeratinocyte antibodies in dogs with pemphigus foliaceus
In humans with pemphigus foliaceus (PF), pathogenic autoantibodies are principally of IgG4 subclass and they cause superficial vesiculation when injected into neonatal mice. The objectives of this study were to determine the isotypes of circulating antikeratinocyte antibodies in dogs with PF, to assess whether serum antikeratinocyte antibody titres decreased during successful treatment, and to study whether such antibodies were pathogenic in passive transfers. Using indirect immunofluorescence with neonatal mouse skin substrates, circulating antikeratinocyte IgG antibodies were detected in 36 of 44 dogs with PF (82%). Serum autoantibodies belonged predominantly to IgG4 (three of 44; 80%) and IgG1 (30 of 44; 68%) subclasses. Antikeratinocyte IgG antibodies were detected in 16 of 20 normal dogs (80%), and these antibodies were IgG1 (16 of 20, 80%) but rarely IgG4 (two of 20; 10%) isotypes. In four dogs, IgG4 antikeratinocyte antibody titres decreased concomitantly to lesions nearing or reaching complete remission. In contrast, IgG or IgG1 titres remained stable or increased when lesions abated. Antikeratinocyte antibodies targeted mainly intercellular autoantigen(s) in the stratum granulosum, while in fewer dogs, such antibodies bound to cytoplasmic basal antigen(s). Intradermal injections of PF or pemphigus vulgaris (PV) IgG into neonatal mice caused subgranular or suprabasal acantholytic vesiculation without granulocyte infiltration, respectively. Similar transfers of normal dog IgG did not cause vesiculation. These observations suggest that antikeratinocyte IgG4 antibodies could be relevant to disease pathogenesis. Importantly, canine PF or PV IgG appear to be pathogenic when transferred passively into mice, causing vesiculation at epidermal levels similar to those of the natural disease.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Clinical Sciences and Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA 2: Clinique Vétérinaire, Roquefort-les-Pins, France 3: Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado, Englewood, Colorado, USA 4: Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Publication date: 2009-02-01