Cytokines and bullous pemphigoid

Luciano D'Auria, Paola Cordiali Fei, Franco Ameglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This report reviews the data presented in the literature concerning the presence and levels of different cytokines in sera, lesional tissue or blister fluids of patients with bullous pemphigoid. The list of cytokines analysed includes 21 molecules: interleukins (IL)-1→8, IL-10→13, IL-15, granulocyte-monocyte-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), oncostatin-M (OSM), regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and presumably secreted (RANTES), transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Basic information regarding the functions of these cytokines and their possible involvement in the pathogenetic steps of the disease, such as autoantigen expression, autoantibody induction, complement activation, local cell recruitment and stimulation, resident cell activation, release of various effector molecules and tissue damage are also reported. A specific function for each cytokine in bullous pemphigoid induction cannot be still defined, however, the literature attributes a major role to IL-1, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8 and IFN-gamma. On the basis of significant (direct or inverse) correlations found between disease intensity and the blister fluid/serum levels, the following cytokines IL-7, IL-15, RANTES, VEGF and TNF-alpha, besides those previously mentioned, may also be involved in this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Cytokine Network
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Blister fluid
  • Bullous pemphigoid
  • Cytokines
  • Serum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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