Associated TP1: Development of novel tretment options for patients with autoimmune skin blistering

Specific immunoadsorption for the treatment of pemphigus patients

Pemphigus is an autoimmune blistering disease of the skin, during which patients develop autoantibodies against the cellular adhesion proteins desmoglein (Dsg) 1 and 3. It has been shown numerous times in both in vivo and in vitro assays that anti-Dsg-antibodies alone are pathogenic and that removal of these antibodies is sufficient to abolish blister formation. Nevertheless, treatment of pemphigus patients is based upon general immunosuppresion. In severe cases, immunoadsorption on protein A-columns may be applied. These adsorption devices remove all IgGs from the patient’s serum and are, therefore, unspecific.

The aim of this project is to develop specific immunoadsorption devices by the use of recombinant Dsg1 and Dsg3. With the help of these devices it will be possible to only remove the autoantibodies causing the disease without affecting IgGs important for the defence against pathogens.

Jana Langenhan graduated in 08/2012.