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Evidence indicates that the neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF) is a mediator of cutaneous inflammatory responses. Cellular responses to NGF are facilitated by two receptors called trk A and p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR). In the current study we have investigated the expression of these receptors in lesional and non-lesional skin from patients with plaque psoriasis and in normal skin exposed to three times the minimal erythema dose of ultraviolet (UV) B radiation. Trk A immunostaining was confined to the basal keratinocytes in normal skin. There was a significant reduction in trk A immunostaining in both non-lesional and lesional psoriatic skin compared with control skin. In UVB-irradiated normal skin, there was a significant reduction in trk A immunostaining at 4 h after irradiation, which was still evident at 48 h. In normal skin, p75NTR immunopositive fine nerve fibres were present throughout the dermis and occasionally seen in the epidermis. Thick nerve fibres were evident in the deep dermis and in the middle region of the dermis. p75NTR immunopositive basal keratinocytes were occasionally seen. There was a statistically significant loss of p75NTR immunopositive fine nerve fibres in the epidermis of lesional psoriatic skin and a statistically significant loss of p75NTR immunopositive fine nerve fibres in the dermis in both non-lesional and lesional psoriatic skin. p75NTR immunopositive thick nerve fibres were reduced in lesional psoriatic skin compared with normal skin. UVB irradiation of normal skin led to a statistically significant decrease in the p75NTR immunopositive fine nerve fibres in the epidermis at 48 h after irradiation. There was no significant reduction in the dermal p75NTR immunoreactivity. These results demonstrated that expression of both NGF receptors is decreased following an acute inflammatory stimulus and also in association with a chronic inflammatory dermatosis.