Claudio Rhyner, Sabine Zeller, Catharina Johansson, Annika Scheynius and Reto Crameri
Background: Atopic eczema is the most common chronic, relapsing, inflammatory skin disorder with an atopic background. Previous studies have shown that IgE-mediated reactivity to self-antigens plays a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. However, the expression of self-antigens associated with atopic eczema in the lesional skin is poorly investigated.
Aim of the study: This study was aimed to show that IgE-binding self antigens are over-expressed in atopic eczema lesions. Methods: Tubulin-α and HLA-DR-α, two recently described self-antigens, were stained by immunohistochemistry in skin specimens from chronic and acute atopic eczema lesions, unaffected skin from the same patients or skin from healthy controls.
Results: The expression of tubulin-α and HLA-DR-α is up-regulated in atopic eczema lesions compared to nonlesional or healthy skin and correlates with the number of infiltrating immune cells and the degree of inflammation.
Conclusion: Upregulation of IgE-binding self-antigens in lesional skin of atopic eczema patients might further promote the existing inflammation and induce exacerbations of the disease in the absence of exposure to environmental allergens.