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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gelatinase B-deficient mice are resistant to experimental bullous pemphigoid.

  • Author(s): Liu, Z
  • Shipley, JM
  • Vu, TH
  • Zhou, X
  • Diaz, LA
  • Werb, Z
  • Senior, RM
  • et al.

Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is an autoimmune subepidermal blistering disease characterized by deposition of autoantibodies at the basement membrane zone. In an experimental BP model in mice, the subepidermal blistering is mediated by antibodies directed against the hemidesmosomal protein BP180 (collagen XVII, BPAG2), and depends on complement activation and neutrophil infiltration. Gelatinase B is present in BP blister fluid and can cleave BP180. In this study we investigated the role of gelatinase B in the immunopathogenesis of experimental BP using mice containing targeted disruption of the gelatinase B (MMP-9, 92 kD gelatinase) gene. Gelatinase B-deficient mice were resistant to the blistering effect of intracutaneous anti-mBP180 antibodies, although these mice showed deposition of autoantibodies at the basement membrane zone and neutrophil recruitment to the skin comparable to that observed in the control mice. Interleukin 8 given intradermally concomitantly with pathogenic anti-mBP180 elicited a significant neutrophil recruitment into the skin in gelatinase B-deficient mice, but blistering did not occur. However, gelatinase B-deficient mice reconstituted with neutrophils from normal mice developed blistering in response to anti-mBP180 antibodies. These results implicate neutrophil-derived gelatinase B in the pathogenesis of experimental BP and might lead to novel therapeutic strategies for BP.

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