Bullous pemphigoid is an inflammatory subepidermal blistering disease that is associated with auto- antibodies to the keratinocyte surface protein, BP180. In addition to the binding of autoantibodies, the infiltration of inflammatory cells is necessary for blister formation. Cytokines, including interleukin-6 and interleukin-8, have been implicated in the disease process of both human and experimental murine bullous pemphigoid. This study was aimed at testing the hypothesis that the binding of anti-BP180 antibodies to their target antigen triggers a signal transduction event that results in the secretion of these pro-inflammatory cytokines. Consistent with this hypothesis, treatment of cultured normal human epidermal keratinocytes with bullous pemphigoid IgG, but not control IgG, led to increased levels of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8, but not interleukin-1alpha, interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-10, or monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, in the culture medium. This effect was concentration- and time-dependent and was abolished by depleting the bullous pemphigoid IgG of reactivity to two distinct epitopes on the BP180 NC16A domain. Upregulation of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 was found at both protein and mRNA levels. In addition, bullous pemphigoid IgG did not induce the release of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 from BP180-deficient keratinocytes obtained from a patient with generalized atrophic benign epidermolysis bullosa. These data indicate that bullous pemphigoid-associated autoantibodies to the human BP180 ectodomain trigger a signal transducing event that leads to expression and secretion of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 from human keratinocytes.
View details for Web of Science ID 000165219000010
View details for PubMedID 11069622