Pemphigus remains the archetype of the autoimmune bullous diseases with circulating and skin antibodies in patients as well as in animal models. Pemphigus antigens are desmosomal-associated glycoproteins of 130 kD in pemphigus vulgaris (desmoglein 3) and of 160 kD (desmoglein 1) in pemphigus foliaceus (fogo selvagem in Brazil, pemphigus seborrheicus in other countries). Pemphigus may be associated to drugs and/or immune system related tumors (e.g. thymoma). Two new forms of pemphigus have been described: IgA pemphigus and paraneoplastic pemphigus. Targets of the autoantibodies are various desmosomal and cellular adhesion molecules. Even if each main pemphigus variant corresponds to specific antibodies, association of various antibodies may be found, leading to the concept of dysimmunoreactivity.

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