Autoimmune bullous diseases are heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by intraepidermal and subepidermal bullae formation. Autoantibodies to major players of skin integrity cause devastating symptoms in autoimmune bullous diseases that may result with morbidity and even mortality in the affected patients. These group of diseases can be categorized by the level of splitting in the skin and by structural proteins that are targeted by autoantibodies. Autoimmune bullous diseases can be divided into four basic subgroups: pemphigus, pemphigoid, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita and dermatitis herpetiformis, although their different subtypes have been defined. In this chapter, the structure and tasks of desmosomes and basement membrane zone, which consist of the major antigens of the skin integrity targeted by autoantibodies, are examined, and the relation of target antigens and autoimmune bullous diseases is discussed.
Part of the book: Autoimmune Bullous Diseases