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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Novel mechanisms of target cell death and survival and of therapeutic action of IVIg in Pemphigus.

Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a potentially lethal mucocutaneous blistering disease characterized by cell-cell detachment within the stratified epithelium (acantholysis) caused by IgG autoantibodies. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy effectively treats PV, but the mechanism is not fully understood. To further understand acantholysis and the efficacy of IVIg, we measured effects of IgG fractions from PV patients on keratinocyte death processes. Using IgGs from representative PV patients who improved with IVIg, we identified apoptotic and oncotic signaling pathways in in vitro and in vivo PV models. We identified two groups of PV patients, each producing autoantibodies activating predominantly either apoptotic or oncotic cell death pathway. Experimental treatments with caspase 3 or calpain inhibitors demonstrated that PV IgGs induced acantholysis through both pathways. Upstream, the apoptotic signaling involved activation of caspases 8 and 3 and up-regulation of Fas ligand mRNA, whereas calpain-mediated cell death depended on elevated intracellular free Ca(2+). IVIg reduced PV IgG-mediated acantholysis and cell death and up-regulated the caspase inhibitor FLIP and the calpain inhibitor calpastatin. These results indicate that in different PV patients, IgG-induced acantholysis proceeds predominantly via distinct, yet complementary, pathways of programmed cell death differentially mediated by apoptosis and oncosis effectors, with IVIg protecting target cells by up-regulating endogenous caspase and calpain inhibitors.[1]


  1. Novel mechanisms of target cell death and survival and of therapeutic action of IVIg in Pemphigus. Arredondo, J., Chernyavsky, A.I., Karaouni, A., Grando, S.A. Am. J. Pathol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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