Background: Bullous skin lesions are characterised by the presence of intraepidermal or subepidermal bullae. Although inflammatory cell infiltrate is a constant feature in these lesions, their immunophenotypic characterisation is still incomplete.
Aim: To determine whether the development of bullous skin diseases is associated with changes in the inflammatory cell infiltrate.
Materials and methods: 34 cases representing lesions with both intraepidermal and subepidermal bullae were examined using immunoperoxidase staining methods and antibodies targeting antigens for histiocytes (CD68), B cells (CD20+), T cells (CD3+), T cells with cytotoxic potential (T cell intracellular associated antigen, TIA1+) and activity (granzyme B, GRB+). The adjacent normal skin (lesions) and an additional five cases of normal skin were also examined (controls).
Results: The transition from normal skin to lesional skin (lesions with intraepidermal and subepidermal bullae) was associated with a significant increase (p⩽0.05) in the density of total inflammatory cell infiltrate, CD68+ cells, CD3+ T lymphocytes, CD20+ B lymphocytes, TIA1+-resting cytotoxic T cells and GRB+ T cells with cytotoxic activity.
Conclusions: The increase in inflammatory cell infiltrate during the transition from normal to lesional skin may reflect the presence of an increased antigenicity of the lesional cells or a response to some basement membrane components. CD68+ and CD3+ cells, especially the resting cytotoxic ones, achieved numerical dominance in these lesions. Cell-mediated immunity seems to have critical role in the development of these lesions.
- CTL, cytotoxic T lymphocyte
- GRB, granzyme B
- TIA, T cell intracellular-associated antigen
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Competing interests: None declared.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.