Protective effect of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in an experimental model of pemphigus vulgaris

D. Mimouni, M. Blank, L. Ashkenazi, Y. Milner, M. Frusic-Zlotkin, G. J. Anhalt, M. David, Yehuda Shoenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Uncontrolled studies have found intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to be effective in the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris (PV). The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of IVIG in preventing IgG autoantibodies binding to desmoglein-3 and blister formation using a controlled experimental design. The ability of IVIG to affect the binding of IgG affinity purified from two patients with PV to desmoglein-3 in comparison to IgG from one donor, was conducted by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The specificity was confirmed by competition assay. We assessed the effect of IVIG on the induction of experimental-PV in CD1 newborn mice by subcutaneous subjection of IgG affinity purified from two patients with PV. The treatment was conducted by subcutaneous administration of IVIG together with IgG from the pemphigus patients or appropriate control. The skin of the newborns was examined 24-48 h later for blisters, and samples of the affected areas were analysed by immunohistochemistry. IVIG as a whole molecule and its F(ab)2 portion inhibited the binding of anti-desmoglein-3 antibody to recombinant desmoglein-3 in a dose-dependent manner. The specificity was confirmed by competition assays. In-vivo, IVIG and its F(ab)2 portion prevented blister formation in the newborn mice. Cutaneous lesions were noted only in the groups of newborn mice who were injected with IgG fractions from the PV patients. Immunopathological evaluation revealed that IVIG prevented the formation of acanthylosis with IgG deposition in the intercellular spaces. These results point to the efficacy of IVIG in the prevention of blister formation in an experimental PV model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-432
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005



  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoimmunity
  • Desmoglein
  • IVIG
  • Pemphigus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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