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Mitochondrial Autoantibodies and the Role of Apoptosis in Pemphigus Vulgaris


Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an IgG autoantibody-mediated, potentially fatal mucocutaneous disease manifested by progressive non-healing erosions and blisters. Beyond acting to inhibit adhesion molecules, PVIgGs elicit a unique process of programmed cell death and detachment of epidermal keratinocytes termed apoptolysis. Mitochondrial damage by antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA) has proven to be a critical link in this process. AMA act synergistically with other autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of PV. Importantly, absorption of AMA inhibits the ability of PVIgGs to induce blisters. Pharmacologic agents that protect mitochondrial function offer a new targeted approach to treating this severe immunoblistering disease.

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