Project: Research project


Herpes gestationis (HG) is a subepidermal bullous dermatosis of pregnancy
characterized immunopathologically by circulating and tissue-bound IgG
directed against an epidermal basement membrane zone (BMZ) antigen. It
has been proposed that HG is related to bullous pemphigoid, another
blistering dermatosis occurring in elderly patients, based on similar
morphologic, histologic and immunofluorescence features. Both are
strongly suspected to be autoimmune diseases, mediated by circulating
anti-BMZ autoantibodies. The overall goals of the present study are to lay a groundwork
characterizing the fundamental autoimmune components--the antigens and
antibodies--of HG, comparing them to BP antigen/antibody systems, and to
establish the pathogenic significance of the HG autoantibodies. More
specifically, we intend to characterize biochemically and immunologically
the epithelial antigens which may play a role in the pathogenesis of HG
by Western immunoblotting, peptide mapping, determination of their
solubilities, carbohydrate content and isoelectric points. Extra- versus
intracellular location of the antigen will be evaluated using
immunofluorescence techniques and ultrastructural localization will be
determined by immuno-electron microscopy. Production of monoclonal and
polyclonal antibodies will help clarify localization of relevant antigens
identified by biochemical techniques. We also will further characterize the nature of the antibody response in
HG by determining the IgG subclasses present in sera and skin using
subclass specific monclonal antibodies for immunofluorescence studies.
The findings will be compared to those of BP, to establish the
similarities and differences in both antigen and antibody systems in
these two autoimmune diseases. Finally, we intend to develop an animal model for HG by passive transfer
of autoantibodies. This would provide evidence that the autoantibodies
are in fact pathogenic, and would allow further investigation into the
basic disease mechanisms, pathophysiology and the intriguing role which
hormones play in development of autoimmune disease.
Effective start/end date9/20/898/31/95


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $99,725.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $114,633.00


Pemphigoid Gestationis
Autoimmune Diseases
Basement Membrane
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Vesiculobullous Skin Diseases
Bullous Pemphigoid
Peptide Mapping
Immunoelectron Microscopy
Isoelectric Point
Skin Diseases
Antibody Formation
Animal Models
Immunoglobulin G
Western Blotting
Monoclonal Antibodies


  • Medicine(all)