Localization of immunoglobulins and complement by the peroxidase antiperoxidase method in autoimmune and non-autoimmune canine dermatopathies

F. M. Moore, Stephen D White, J. L. Carpenter, E. Torchon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded skin biopsy specimens from 44 dogs with various dermatopathies were examined for the presence of immunoglobulins (IgG, IgM, IgA) and complement (C3) by the peroxidase antiperoxidase method (PAP). Final diagnoses of the skin diseases were determined by clinical findings, fungal and bacterial cultures, skin scrapings, serum endocrinologic tests, and histologic features of cutaneous biopsies. The dermatopathies included examples of pyoderma (folliculitis/furunculosis), demodecosis, sarcoptic mange, dermatophytosis, endocrine dermatopathy, and autoimmune skin disease (AISD). In the latter category, 7 cases of pemphigus foliaceus, 1 pemphigus vulgaris, 4 discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and 4 examples of indeterminate AISD were examined. Immunoglobulins, C3, or both, were localized in tissue sections from AISD ( 15 16), pyoderma ( 7 11), demodecosis ( 4 8) sarcoptic mange ( 3 3), and dermatomycosis ( 2 3). Endocrine dermatopathy biopsies were consistently negative for Ig and C3 ( 0 3). The pattern of localization was most often intercellular ( 31 44 positive biopsies) with basement membrane immunoreactivity in 4 cases of DLE, and 1 case of indeterminate AISD. There was no consistent correlation between histologic features of hematoxylin and eosin-stained biopsies and the presence of Ig and C3. Clinical outcome was similar in both Ig and C3 positive and negative cases of non-AISD dermatitis. The high percentage (95%) of positive results in AISD biopsies indicates the usefulness and sensitivity of the PAP method for the localization of Ig and C3. Because of the high percentage of Ig localization in pyoderma (73%), biopsy specimens with extensive inflammatory skin disease are not suitable for diagnosis of AISD. The PAP method is useful in the diagnosis of AISD in biopsy specimens with minimal inflammation. Caution is warranted in the interpretation of immunoreactivity independent of clinical and histologic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)


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