RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Characterization of BALB/c mice B lymphocyte autoimmune responses to skin basement membrane component type XVII collagen, the target antigen of autoimmune skin disease bullous pemphigoid.

Immunology Letters 2001 June 2
Bullous pemphigoid is an autoimmune blistering skin disease characterized by IgG autoantibodies targeting the skin basement membrane component type XVII collagen (BPAg2). To gain understanding of the disease's induction phase, we subcutaneously immunized adult BALB/c mice with peptides of human and/or the murine-equivalent BPAg2 pathogenic NC16A domain. Female mice were injected with peptides (human, murine, or combined human and murine), or PBS control emulsified in CFA, on a four-week interval. At the fourth and subsequent immunizations, all peptide-immunized mice were given murine peptides. Two weeks after the sixth immunization, ELISA detected IgG circulating autoantibodies against self peptides in 92% (47/51) of mice immunized with murine peptides; whereas none of the preimmune sera or the sera from PBS control-immunized mice reacted to the self peptides. In four mice their autoantibodies labeled mouse skin basement membrane. Breaking B-cell tolerance to BPAg2 sets the first step in dissecting the disease's induction phase.

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