Content » Vol 77, Issue 3

Investigative Report

T-cell receptor V beta expression is restricted in dermatitis herpetiformis skin

Garioch JJ, Baker BS, Leonard JN, Fry L.
DOI: 10.2340/0001555577184186


An infiltrate of T-cells is found in lesional dermatitis herpetiformis skin, but the role of these cells in the pathogenesis of the skin lesions is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine T-cell receptor V beta expression in skin biopsies taken from patients with dermatitis herpetiformis. Expression of eleven T-cell receptor V beta families in biopsies obtained from 10 patients was examined by immunoperoxidase staining and compared simultaneously with peripheral blood lymphocytes. Over-representation of V beta 2 (p < 0.02), V beta 5.2/5.3 (p < 0.01) and V beta 5.3 (p < 0.05) was found in lesional dermatitis herpetiformis skin compared with peripheral blood lymphocytes. These results suggest that recognition of an antigen(s) or superantigen is involved in the pathogenesis of dermatitis herpetiformis skin lesions.


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