Background. Reports have appeared that sera of patients with systemic autoimmune disorders have demonstrated autoantibodies to vinculin.
Objective. To determine the presence and distribution of vinculin in the skin of patients with cutaneous autoimmune disorders.
Methods. Semiquantitative immunohistochemistry investigations for presence of vinculin were conducted on skin biopsy specimens from patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV), bullous pemphigoid (BP), and various collagen vascular diseases, and from healthy controls.
Results. Results of staining for vinculin were positive in 2 of 7 PV patients, 6 of 9 BP patients, and all 6 cutaneous autoimmune patients. Staining results were negative in all controls. Strong immunostaining to vinculin was found in 3 of 6 vinculin-positive BP patients and 5 of 6 vinculin-positive cutaneous autoimmune patients.
Conclusions. The expression and distribution of vinculin are accentuated in patients with various skin autoimmune diseases and appear to be stronger in diseases involving the basement membrane, where it is thought to be relatively more important than in other skin disorders.