Intraepidermal nerve fiber expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide, vasoactive intestinal peptide and substance P in psoriasis

Jennifer Chan, Bruce R. Smoller, Siba P Raychaudhuri, Wen Yue Jiang, Eugene M. Farber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

In order to evaluate more fully the role of neuropeptides in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, skin biopsies were obtained from 36 patients with psoriasis to identify substance P (SP), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Lesional and nonlesional skin was examined from these biopsies and the results compared with those from biopsies taken from patients with a variety of other inflammatory dermatoses, including lichen planus, lichen simplex chronicus, spongiotic dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Also studied was a series of nine biopsies taken from patients with no known skin disorders. We found an increase in the number of SP-positive nerve fibers within the epidermis in biopsies from lesional skin of psoriasis patients (8.4 nerves per 3-mm biopsy) compared with nonlesional psoriatic skin (2.6 nerves per 3-mm biopsy) and normal skin (2.0 nerves per 3 mm biopsy). Other inflammatory disorders also demonstrated fewer SP-positive nerves than lesional psoriatic skin; lichen planus (0 nerves per 3 mm biopsy) and lichen simplex chronicus (1.3 nerves per 3 mm biopsy). The difference in SP-positive nerve expression between lesional psoriatic skin and the group comprising nonlesional skin, normal skin, lichen planus, and lichen simplex chronicus attained statistical significance (P < 0.013). SP-positive intraepidermal nerve fibers in lesional psoriatic specimens were fewer than in spongiotic dermatitis (17.4 nerves per 3 mm biopsy). There was no significant difference in numbers of VIP- or CGRP-immunopositive intraepidermal nerve fibers between psoriatic skin and the group comprising all other material tested. However, in five patients with psoriasis, there was a marked increase in the expression of intraepidermal CGRP (up to 10.7 nerves per 3-mm biopsy) and VIP (up to 8.3 nerves per 3-mm biopsy) which was not observed in control groups. These findings suggest that neuropeptides SP, CGRP, and VIP play a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-616
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Volume289
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Calcitonin-gene-related protein
  • Neuropeptides
  • Psoriasis
  • Substance P
  • Vasoactive intestinal peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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