Bullous pemphigoid anti-BP180-NC16A autoantibody reactivity in healthy individuals is associated with marked hypovitaminosis D and Th2-like cytokine predominance

Stefan Tukaj*, Katja Bieber, Wiebke Prüßmann, Jasper N. Prüßmann, Enno Schmidt, Detlef Zillikens, Ralf J. Ludwig, Michael Kasperkiewicz

*Corresponding author for this work


Autoimmune bullous disease autoantibodies, particularly including bullous pemphigoid (BP)-related anti-BP180-NC16A IgG, have been reported in a small subset of healthy individuals, but information about associated factors is lacking. We hypothesized that an abnormal status of immunomodulatory vitamin D could play a role in anti-BP180-NC16A autoantibody reactivity in healthy persons. In addition, we aimed to evaluate the cytokine profile associated with these autoantibodies. Plasma samples from 34 anti-BP180-NC16A IgG-reactive and 85 anti-BP180-NC16A IgG-negative healthy blood donors were tested for levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and a wide range of cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-9, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-21, IL-22, IFN-γ, and TNF-α). We observed that anti-BP180-NC16A IgG-reactive healthy subjects had significantly lower plasma 25(OH)D levels and about a two-fold higher rate of vitamin D deficiency (< 20 ng/ml) compared to anti-BP180-NC16A IgG-negative healthy persons. In addition, anti-BP180-NC16A IgG-positive samples were characterized by significantly higher levels of IL-2, IL-5, IL-9, IL-10, and IL-13 which were, however, not significantly associated with the vitamin D levels. Our results indicate that healthy individuals with BP autoantibody reactivity share similarities with BP patients regarding the vitamin D status and cytokine profile (i.e., marked hypovitaminosis D and Th2 predominance), which may have pathophysiologic implications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2921-2926
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 12.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)
  • Centers: Center for Research on Inflammation of the Skin (CRIS)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 204-05 Immunology
  • 205-19 Dermatology

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