The coexistence of antidesmoglein 3 (Dsg3) and antidesmoglein 1 (Dsg1) autoantibodies is well described in patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV); however, there is little evidence of sequential development of these two autoantibodies. Autoantibody responses to Dsg3 and Dsg1 were studied in seven PV patients over time by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, using baculovirus expressed recombinant fusion proteins. All patients had anti-Dsg3 IgG antibodies at presentation. Two patients developed anti-Dsg1 later in the course of the disease. The transition in autoantibody profile was associated with disease progression to generalized PV involving mucous membranes and skin in both patients; one patient initially presented with a predominantly mucosal phenotype, the other with herpetiform pemphigus-like features. These findings demonstrate that there is an extension of autoimmune response from anti-Dsg3 only to both anti-Dsg3 and anti-Dsg1 in some patients, which is associated with an alteration in clinical expression in PV.
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