Rat bladder epithelium: A sensitive substrate for indirect immunofluorescence of bullous pemphigoid

S. Delmonte, E. Cozzani, M. Drosera, A. Parodi, A. Rebora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Serological diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid is based on immunoblotting or indirect immunofluorescence on normal human salt-split skin. These methods are expensive or time-consuming and not available as a routine test in all laboratories. We used rat bladder epithelium as substrate for indirect immunofluorescence and compared it with other substrates and with immunoblotting. Twenty-nine bullous pemphigoid sera were studied on rat bladder epithelium, monkey oesophagus, salt-split skin and with immunoblotting on human keratinocyte cultures. Indirect immunofluorescence on rat bladder epithelium proved to be more sensitive (72%) than on monkey oesophagus alone (45%) and less sensitive than on salt-split skin (97%). Rat bladder epithelium, when tested on 41 sera of a control group, showed a very high specificity: 2/41 (95%). In combination with immunoblotting on keratinocyte extracts, indirect immunofluorescence on rat bladder epithelium allowed 93% of sera to be recognized, a value close to the salt-split skin alone. Rat bladder epithelium appears to be a more sensitive substrate than monkey oesophagus for the diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid and, although less specific, it is easier and faster than using saltsplit skin, which remains indispensable to distinguish bullous pemphigoid from epidermolysis bullosa acquisita.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
JournalActa Dermato-Venereologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Bullous pemphigoid
  • Immunoblotting
  • Indirect immunofluorescence
  • Monkey oesophagus
  • Rat bladder epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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