Comparative studies on naturally occurring antikeratin antibodies in human sera

Keiji Iwatsuki, Jacqueline Viac, Alain Reano, Anna Morera, Marie Jeanne Staquet, Jean Thivolet, Jean Claude Monier

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Comparative studies on the specificity of the so-called antiepidermal antibodies (Abs) found in human sera were performed by immunoblotting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and immunoelectron microscopy (IEM). After a screening test by indirect immunofluorescence (IF), sera obtained from patients with various diseases and controls could be classified in 5 different groups according to the IF patterns on the epidermis: sera reactive with: (1) the stratum corneum (SC); (2) the upper layer (U-Cyt); (3) the whole epidermis (G-Cyt); (4) basal cells (B-Cyt); and (5) negative ones. By immunoblotting, all the 23 IF-positive sera were found to bind to one or more keratin bands, and did not show any reactivity with epidermal Nonidet P-40 soluble proteins. SC-Abs were mainly directed against a 67 kD Keratin band, whereas U-Cyt-and G-Cyt-Abs bound to both 58-56 kD and 67-63 kD keratins. B-Cyt-Abs reacted strongly with 63 kD keratins and slightly with a 50 kD band. Antikeratin Abs were detected by immunoblotting even in the IF-negative sera. The ELISA study showed that sera with high IF titers contained high levels of antikeratin Abs. In the IEM study using sera containing U-Cyt- or B-Cyt-Abs, 2 distinct reaction patterns were demonstrated: U-Cyt-Abs stained tonofilaments of suprabasal keratinocytes, while B-Cyt-Abs characteristically reacted with those of basal cells. Moreover, SC-, U-Cyt-, and G-Cyt-Abs were absorbed out by insoluble epidermal proteins, and B-Cyt-Abs were decreased in titer after the absorption test. The present study provides strong evidence that most, though not all, human antiepidermal Abs are directed against different keratin polypeptides, and that antikeratin Abs commonly occur in almost all human sera.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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