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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 240570, 7 pages
Review Article

Collagen XVII: A Shared Antigen in Neurodermatological Interactions?

Vanha Vaasa Hospital, 65380 Vaasa, Finland

Received 17 April 2013; Accepted 19 June 2013

Academic Editor: Carlos Barcia

Copyright © 2013 Allan Seppänen. 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.


Collagen XVII is a nonfibril-forming transmembrane collagen, which functions as both a matrix protein and a cell-surface receptor. It is particularly copious in the skin, where it is known to be a structural component of hemidesmosomes. In addition, collagen XVII has been found to be present in the central nervous system, thus offering an explanation for the statistical association between bullous pemphigoid, in which autoimmunity is directed against dermal collagen XVII, and neurological diseases. In support of the hypothesis that collagen XVII serves as a shared antigen mediating an immune response between skin and brain, research on animal and human tissue, as well as numerous epidemiological and case studies, is presented.