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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 239691, 7 pages
Review Article

Dermatitis Herpetiformis: From the Genetics to the Development of Skin Lesions

1Section of Dermatology, Department of Medical and Surgical Clinical Care, University of Florence, 50129 Florence, Italy
2Department of Clinical Physiopathology, University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy

Received 13 February 2012; Accepted 11 April 2012

Academic Editor: Takashi Hashimoto

Copyright © 2012 Diletta Bonciani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a rare autoimmune disease linked to gluten sensitivity with a chronic-relapsing course. It is currently considered to be the specific cutaneous manifestation of celiac disease (CD). Both conditions are mediated by the IgA class of autoantibodies, and the diagnosis of DH is dependent on the detection of granular deposits of IgA in the skin. There is an underlying genetic predisposition to the development of DH, but environmental factors are also important. This paper describes these different factors and discusses the known mechanism that lead to the development of skin lesions.