Blister fluid and serum concentrations of different cytokines in patients with bullous pemphigoid

F. Ameglio, L. D'Auria, C. Bonifati, C. Ferraro, A. Mastroianni, M. Pietravalle, B. Giacalone

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Few data are available in the literature concerning the levels of various cytokines in blister fluids and in the sera of patients affected with bullous pemphigoid (BP), a disease of autoimmune origin characterized by production of autoantibodies directed against the skin basal membrane zone (ABMZ) at dermoepidermal junction. Aim of this study is to measure the levels of several cytokines in the BP blisters and to compare them with those detected in the sera of the same patients. These results were correlated to the number of lesions counted in each patient to put in evidence possible relationships. In addition, 10 sera of normal subjects have also been analyzed. Using highly sensitive, commercially available ELISA kits, this study reports the levels of 3 cytokines detected both in blister fluids and in the sera of 10 bullous pemphigoid patients (7 males and 3 females, median age 80 years, range 65-87) and then compares them with those observed in the sera of 10 control subjects (7 males and 3 females, median age 78 years, range 60-80). Diagnosis was obtained on the basis of clinical and laboratory findings, including indirect (serum ABMZ) and direct (skin biopsy) immunofluorescence tests, as previously described. Generally, no significant differences were observed between the bullous pemphigoid and the control sera. In contrast, IL-1β showed increased blister fluid levels as compared to the bullous pemphigoid sera. IFN-γ, instead, showed no significant differences between the bullous pemphigoid blister fluids and the sera, while the serum levels of TGF-β1 were higher than the corresponding blister concentrations. Using the number of skin lesions of the patients as a possible disease intensity marker, a significant correlation was found with the blister fluid levels of IL-1β (R = 0.76, p = 0.02). These data may have pathogenetic relevance and suggest that some of these biological modulators might be used as a quantitative index of disease intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-98
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • bullous pemphigoid
  • cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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