Immunoadsorption of desmoglein-3-specific IgG abolishes the blister-inducing capacity of pemphigus vulgaris IgG in neonatal mice

Maxi Hofrichter, Jenny Dworschak, Shirin Emtenani, Jana Langenhan, Fanny Weiß, Lars Komorowski, Detlef Zillikens, Winfried Stöcker, Christian Probst, Enno Schmidt*, Stephanie Goletz

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit


Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a potentially life-threatening autoimmune blistering disease which is associated with autoantibodies directed against two desmosomal proteins, desmoglein (Dsg) 3 and 1. Treatment of PV is rather challenging and relies on the long-term use of systemic corticosteroids and additional immunosuppressants. More recently, autoantibody-depleting therapies such as rituximab, high-dose intravenous immunoglobulins, and immunoadsorption were shown to be valuable treatment options in PV. Specific removal of pathogenic autoantibodies would further increase efficacy and usability of immunoadsorption. Here, we tested the capacity of our recently developed prototypic Dsg1- and Dsg3-specific adsorbers to remove circulating pathogenic autoantibodies from three different PV patients. The pathogenic potential of the Dsg3/1-depleted IgG fractions and the anti-Dsg3-specific IgG was explored in two different in vitro assays based on cultured human keratinocytes, the desmosome degradation assay and the dispase-based dissociation assay. In addition, the neonatal mouse model of PV was used. In both in vitro assays, no difference between the pathogenic effect of total PV IgG and anti-Dsg3-specific IgG was seen, while Dsg3/1-depleted and control IgG were not pathogenic. For the samples of all 3 PV patients, depletion of anti-Dsg3/1 IgG resulted in a complete loss of pathogenicity when injected into neonatal mice. In contrast, injection of anti-Dsg3-specific IgG, eluted from the column, induced gross blistering in the mice. Our data clearly show that anti-Dsg3-specific IgG alone is pathogenic in vitro and in vivo, whereas Dsg3/1-depletion results in a complete loss of pathogenicity. Furthermore, our data suggest that Dsg-specific adsorption may be a suitable therapeutic modality to efficiently reduce pathogenic autoantibodies in patients with severe PV.

ZeitschriftFrontiers in Immunology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 03.09.2018


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