Cytokines in the sera of patients with pemphigus vulgaris: Interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha levels are significantly increased as compared to healthy subjects and correlate with disease activity

Luciano D'Auria, Claudio Bonifati, Anna Mussi, Giovanna D'Agosto, Clara De Simone, Bernardino Giacalone, Carmela Ferraro, Franco Ameglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cytokine serum levels, when detectable, are currently measured in many disease states, both to evaluate a possible pathogenetic involvement of such molecules and for clinical purposes. No data are currently available on the cytokine levels in the sera of patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV), a rare bullous disease of autoimmune origin. This study presents data concerning the levels of 13 different cytokines assayed in the sera of 25 patients affected with PV as compared with 20 healthy subjects using high sensitivity ELISA kits. Of the 13 molecules analyzed, no differences in the levels of most cytokines were observed between pemphigus and control sera, with the exception of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Serum TNF-alpha and IL-6 levels were found to be significantly higher in PV patients than in normal controls (p <0.001). Furthermore, the levels of the two cytokines decreased after one month of corticosteroid therapy. A significant correlation was found between the serum levels of both TNF-alpha and IL-6 and the number of lesions for each patient (p <0.001). The data presented support an involvement of at least IL-6 and TNF-alpha in the biological modifications associated with PV manifestations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Cytokine Network
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997



  • Blister
  • Cytokines
  • Pemphigus vulgaris
  • Serum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this