, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 339-347

Serum induced CD63 and CD203c activation tests in chronic urticaria

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Abstract

Background

Approximately half of patients with chronic urticaria (CU) have functional autoantibodies against FceRIα or against IgE that induce histamine release from basophils and cutaneous mast cells. In addition to intracutaneous autologous serum skin test (ASST), more recently upregulation of CD63 and CD203c molecules on basophils has been proposed to detect the presence of autoantibodies in sera of CU patients.

Objective

Our aim was to assess the effect of serum from CU patients on basophil CD63 and CD203c expression and to correlate serum-induced basophil activation with ASST.

Methods

Sera were obtained from 128 patients with CU and 30 healthy controls. Patients or controls serum was incubated with atopic donor whole blood and activated basophils were identified by flow cytometry on basis of presence of CD63 or CD203c on high-expressing IgE positive cells. ASST was performed in all CU patients and 10 healthy controls.

Results

ASST was positive in 33.6% CU patients. Serum from 36.7% patients induced upregulation of CD63 while serum from 45.3% patients upregulated the CD203c molecule. There was a positive correlation between ASST and upregulation of CD63, but no correlation was observed between ASST and serum-induced CD203c. The sensitivity and specificity of the ASST in vitro assays were 55.8% and 72.9% for CD63; 55.8% and 60.0% for CD203 respectively.

Conclusions

Serum from CU patients upregulated both CD63 and CD203c molecules on blood basophils. A positive correlation between CD63 assay and ASST indicates the potential usefulness of this test for the diagnosis of the autoimmune form of CU.