Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18331528
Tissue Antigens 2008 May;71(5):464-70
Desmoglein (Dsg) 1 is a transmembrane glycoprotein of the desmosome allowing cell-cell adhesion between keratinocytes, whose expression is restricted to stratified squamous epithelia-like epidermis. Dsg1 is the target autoantigen of pathogenic autoantibodies produced by pemphigus foliaceus and 50% of pemphigus vulgaris patients in a Dsg1-specific T-cell-dependent pathway. Herewith, we show that mRNA of the DSG1 gene is present in normal human thymus and show by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis that the expression of DSG1 transcript increases with age. Although immunoblot analysis on human thymus extracts using different anti-Dsg1 antibodies did not allow to detect the protein, we show by double-immunofluorescence assay that Dsg1 is expressed at protein level by CD19+ CD63+ cells located in the medulla. These data provide another illustration of the thymic expression of a tissue-specific autoantigen involved in an organ-specific autoimmune disease, which may participate in the tolerance acquisition and/or regulation of Dsg1-specific T cells.