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Article Details


Molecular Diagnosis in Autoimmune Skin Blistering Conditions

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

J.V. Otten, T. Hashimoto, M. Hertl, A.S. Payne and C. Sitaru   Pages 69 - 95 ( 27 )

Abstract:


Blister formation in skin and mucous membranes results from a loss of cell-cell or cell-matrix adhesion and is a common outcome of pathological events in a variety of conditions, including autoimmune and genetic diseases, viral and bacterial infections, or injury by physical and chemical factors. Autoantibodies against structural components maintaining cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion induce tissue damage in autoimmune blistering diseases. Detection of these autoantibodies either tissue-bound or circulating in serum is essential to diagnose the autoimmune nature of disease. Various immunofluorescence methods as well as molecular immunoassays, including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting, belong to the modern diagnostic algorithms for these disorders. There is still a considerable need to increase awareness of the rare autoimmune blistering diseases, which often show a severe, chronic-relapsing course, among physicians and the public. This review article describes the immunopathological features of autoimmune bullous diseases and the molecular immunoassays currently available for their diagnosis and monitoring.

Keywords:

Autoantibodies, autoantigens, basement membrane, desmosome, ELISA, extracellular matrix, hemidesmosome, immunoassay, immunoblotting, immunofluorescence microscopy.

Affiliation:

Department of Dermatology, University of Freiburg, Hauptstrasse 7, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.



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