Background There is ample evidence for involvement of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Objective The aim of this study was to determine whether MIF levels were raised in the sera of patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV).
Methods Serum MIF levels were measured using ELISA method in 22 patients with active PV and 21 age- and sex-matched healthy controls and the results were compared with each other.
Results The mean serum MIF levels was significantly higher in PV patients than in control subjects (11.99 ± 1.63 pg/m vs. 1.83 ± 0.22 pg/ml; P-value = 0.0001).
Conclusions Elevated MIF levels in the sera of PV patients could participate in disease induction by activation of T cells as well as induction of autoantibody production by B cells. Given that MIF counter-regulates the effects of steroids, MIF antagonists may prove to be very effective, novel steroid-sparing agents for this life-threatening conundrum.