Granulysin is a broad-spectrum potent antimicrobial peptide produced by the immunocytes. We determined granulysin levels in certain cutaneous inflammatory diseases and correlated expression of granulysin with the relative risks of secondary infections in these conditions. In immunohistochemistry stains a monoclonal antigranulysin antibody was used at 1:150 dilutions. Compared with atopic dermatitis and nummular eczema lesions where secondary infection with Staphylococcus aureus is very common, we found that a significantly increased number of granulysin-positive T cells (P <. 01) were present in psoriatic plaques. Psoriasis plaques are heavily colonized with S aureus. It is a well-known observation that despite open cracks and fissures these plaques do not get infected. Increased levels of granulysin provide an explanation for relative immunity of psoriatic plaques against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial infections.
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