Increased Activity and Apoptosis of Eosinophils in Blister Fluids, Skin and Peripheral Blood of Patients with Bullous Pemphigoid
Judith Engmann, Urda Rüdrich, Georg Behrens, Eleni Papakonstantinou, Manuela Gehring, Alexander Kapp, Ulrike Raap
Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is an autoimmune blistering skin disease that is more common in elderly individuals. The aim of this study was to determine the functional activity of eosinophils in patients with BP compared with healthy donors. Blood, skin and blister-derived eosinophils were strongly activated in patients with BP, seen by increased surface expression of CD69 compared with controls. CD11b was also increased in BP blood eosinophils, which may explain the striking accumulation of eosinophils in BP (1×106 per ml blister fluid). Furthermore, CCL26 was expressed by activated eosinophils in BP skin and in blister fluid. BP eosinophils also released IL-6, IL-8 and IL-1α in BP blister fluids. Apoptosis in cultivated BP eosinophils was increased and accompanied by enhanced surface externalization of CD95. Caspase 3 positive eosinophils in lesional BP skin and blister fluid also showed the initiation of apoptosis. These results reveal novel pathophysiological aspects of BP, with a strong activation pattern and increased apoptosis of eosinophils in the peripheral blood, skin and blister fluids.