UMMS Affiliation

Department of Dermatology

Publication Date


Document Type



Dermatology | Immune System Diseases | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases | Veterinary Medicine


Pemphigus is a group of autoimmune-mediated mucocutaneous blistering diseases characterized by acantholysis. Pemphigus has also been recognized in dogs and shares similar clinical characteristics and variants with human pemphigus. While relationships between human and canine pemphigus have been reported, gene expression patterns across species have not been described in the literature. We sought to perform gene expression analysis of lesional skin tissue from four dogs with various forms of pemphigus to examine gene expression during spontaneous disease in dogs. We found increased T and B cell signatures in canine pemphigus lesions compared to controls, as well as significant upregulation of CCL3, CCL4, CXCL10, and CXCL8 (IL8), among other genes. Similar chemokine/cytokine expression patterns and immune infiltrates have been reported in humans, suggesting that these genes play a role in spontaneous disease. Direct comparison of our dataset to previously published human pemphigus datasets revealed five conserved differentially expressed genes: CD19, WIF1, CXCL10, CD86, and S100A12. Our data expands our understanding of pemphigus and facilitates identification of biomarkers for prediction of disease prognosis and treatment response, which may be useful for future veterinary and human clinical trials.


NanoString, autoimmune blistering diseases, canine (dog), comparative immunology, cytokine, gene expression, pemphigus, skin

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Copyright © 2021 Raef, Piedra-Mora, Wong, Ma, David, Robinson, Almela and Richmond. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

DOI of Published Version



Raef HS, Piedra-Mora C, Wong NB, Ma DJ, David CN, Robinson NA, Almela RM, Richmond JM. Gene Expression Analysis in Four Dogs With Canine Pemphigus Clinical Subtypes Reveals B Cell Signatures and Immune Activation Pathways Similar to Human Disease. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 Sep 29;8:723982. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.723982. PMID: 34660634; PMCID: PMC8511432. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Frontiers in medicine

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.