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Endothelin-1 levels are increased in sera and lesional skin extracts of psoriatic patients and correlate with disease severity.

  • Bonifati, C
  • Mussi, A
  • Carducci, M
  • Pittarello, A
  • D'Auria, L
  • Venuti, A
  • Bagnato, A
  • Salani, D
  • Fazio, M
  • Ameglio, F
Published Article
Acta Dermato Venereologica
Acta Dermato-Venereologica
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
PMID: 9498021


Endothelins (ETs), in addition to their systematical activities, exert important functions at the skin level, such as increase of keratinocyte proliferation, neo-angiogenesis and leukocyte chemotaxis, which are among the main characteristics of psoriasis. To assess a possible ET-1 involvement in plaque-type psoriasis, ET-1 determinations were carried out in 15 sera and 8 lesional and non-lesional biopsy skin extracts from psoriatic patients and in 15 sera and 5 biopsy skin extracts from healthy volunteers, sex- and age-matched, using commercially available ELISA kits. A statistical analysis of the results showed that ET-1 levels were increased in sera of psoriatic patients, as compared to normal subjects (p = 0.04). In addition, there was a significant correlation between both serum (r = 0.60, p = 0.02) and lesional skin (r = 0.80, p = 0.03) ET-1 values versus the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index scores. Significant increases of the lesional versus the non-lesional (p = 0.01) and versus the normal (p = 0.04) ET-1 skin extract values were observed, together with a significant correlation between lesional and non-lesional ET-1 skin levels (r = 0.79, p = 0.03). These findings were also confirmed at the mRNA level, using RT-PCR analysis, where increased ET-1 mRNA levels, densitometrically measured, were found in the lesional samples versus non-lesional and normal skin. Since interleukin-8 is involved in psoriasis and shares some biological properties with ET-1, we further evaluated the levels of this cytokine in skin extracts. The behaviour of interleukin-8 paralleled that of ET-1, and a significant correlation between these two molecules was observed in the lesional skin (r = 0.76, p = 0.05). Taken together, these data stress that, as previously described for interleukin-8, ET-1 may be involved in inflammatory processes associated with psoriasis.

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