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October 1982

Commentary: Clinical Importance of Autoantibodies in Pemphigus

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Dermatol. 1982;118(10):844-845. doi:10.1001/archderm.1982.01650220148022

In the past 40 years, there have been great advances in our understanding of the bullous diseases, in general, and pemphigus, in particular. In 1943, Civatte's demonstration of acantholysis and, in 1952, Lever's separation of pemphigus diseases from pemphigoid syndromes set the stage. Then, in 1964, Beutner and Jordon1 initially observed that serum samples from patients with pemphigus vulgaris contained an antibody that reacted with an intercellular substance of stratified squamous epithelium. Jordon, at the time, was a medical student working in Beutner's laboratory in Buffalo, NY. In their initial study, serum samples from eight of 13 patients yielded a characteristic reaction pattern when tested by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, a biopsy specimen of normal skin adjacent to a blister of one patient with pemphigus demonstrated γ-globulin bound in the intercellular space. These findings were initially reported in the Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine

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