Pemphigus is a life-threatening autoimmune bullous disease mediated by anti-desmoglein IgG autoantibodies. Pemphigus is mainly classified into three subtypes: pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus foliaceus, and paraneoplastic pemphigus. The pathogenicity of autoantibodies has been extensively studied. Anti-human CD20 antibody therapy targeting B cells emerged as a more effective treatment option compared to conventional therapy for patients with an intractable disease. On the other hand, autoreactive T cells are considered to be involved in the pathogenesis based on the test results of human leukocyte antigen association, autoreactive T cell detection, and cytokine profile analysis. Research on the role of T cells in pemphigus has continued to progress, including that on T follicular helper cells, which initiate molecular mechanisms involved in antibody production in B cells. Autoreactive T cell research in mice has highlighted the crucial roles of cellular autoimmunity and improved the understanding of its pathogenesis, especially in paraneoplastic pemphigus. The mouse research has helped elucidate novel regulatory mechanisms of autoreactive T cells, such as thymic tolerance to desmoglein 3 and the essential roles of regulatory T cells, Langerhans cells, and other molecules in peripheral tissues. This review focuses on the immunological aspects of autoreactive T cells in pemphigus by providing detailed information on various related topics.
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