Herpes gestationis (HG) is a rare pregnancy-associated disease. The aim of this study was to compare various immunohistochemical and immunobiochemical techniques with respect to their diagnostic sensitivity for HG. We studied 43 HG sera; only half of these reacted with the basement membrane zone (BMZ) with both indirect immunofluorescence (IF) and complement IF of normal human skin. 81% of the sera reacted with the epidermal side of 1 M NaCl-split skin. In general, titers of anti-BMZ antibodies in HG sera were lower than those in bullous pemphigoid (BP) sera. Immunoblot analysis of human epidermal extracts showed that 51% of HG sera recognized the 180 kD BP antigen (BP180) and 26% recognized the 230 kD BP antigen (BP230). We also studied the reactivity of HG sera with fusion proteins representing either the NC16a domain of human BP180 or the C-terminal region of mouse BP230. Whereas 79% of HG sera reacted with the BP180 fusion protein, only 5% recognized the BP230 fusion protein. Our results suggest that indirect IF of 1 M NaCl-split skin and immunoblotting of a fusion protein representing the BP180 NC16a domain are more sensitive techniques for the diagnosis of HG than conventional and complement IF or immunoblotting of crude epidermal extracts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology