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June 1989

Natural Killer Cell Activity Is Reduced in Patients With Severe Forms of Inherited Epidermolysis Bullosa

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Dr Tyring) and Microbiology (Drs Tyring and Chopra), University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston; and Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Drs Johnson and Fine).

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(6):797-800. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670180069008

• Natural killer (NK) cell activity was evaluated in 34 patients with inherited forms of epidermolysis bullosa (EB). While the NK activity of EB simplex patients did not differ from that of control subjects, persons with more severe forms of EB demonstrated significant reductions in NK activity. The degree of this reduction was directly related to the severity of the skin involvement by EB with recessive dystrophic EB patients having the lowest NK activity. The absolute number of cells bearing NK surface markers in the peripheral blood of patients with recessive dystrophic EB did not differ from that of normal control subjects. This reduced NK activity may be at least partially responsible for the occurrence of septicemia in some persons with severe forms of EB and for the development of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in patients with dystrophic EB.

(Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:797-800)