Normal human skin is superior to monkey oesophagus substrate for detection of circulating BP180-NC16A-specific IgG antibodies in bullous pemphigoid.Br J Dermatol. 2019 05; 180(5):1099-1106.BJ
Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is the most common autoimmune subepidermal blistering skin disease. Two antigens have been identified as targets of circulating autoantibodies (autoAbs) - BP180 and BP230 - with BP180 being a critical transmembrane adhesion protein of basal keratinocytes of the epidermis. The noncollagenous domain 16A (NC16A) of BP180 is the immunodominant epitope in patients with BP, and anti-BP180-NC16A IgG antibodies (Abs) correlate to disease activity. Routine serological testing and follow-up of BP relies on indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) of serum Abs, commonly performed on monkey oesophagus (ME), and/or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing on recombinantly produced fragments of BP180 and BP230 (BP180-NC16A, BP230-C/N).
To determine if NC16A epitopes are well represented on ME substrate.
Sera from different BP cohorts were tested by IIF on ME and normal human skin (NHS). To confirm findings, affinity-purified anti-BP180-NC16A/BP230 polyclonal Abs and recombinant anti-BP180-NC16A/BP230 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were used.
For sensitive detection of BP180-NC16A-specific IgG Abs, sections of NHS are superior to the widely used ME. Confirmation comes from polyclonal affinity-purified anti-BP180-NC16A/BP230 Abs, and by mAbs cloned from a patient with active BP.
Use of NHS is preferable over ME in routine IIF testing for BP. These results are of clinical relevance because anti-BP180-NC16A IgG titres are correlated to disease activity and detecting them reliably is important for screening, diagnosis and follow-up of patients with BP.