Background It is suggested that skin fungi may be involved in the development of atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis vulgaris (PV).
Objective We studied skin fungus-induced Th1- or Th2-related cytokine, chemokine and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) secretion in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with AD and PV and normal subjects.
Methods PBMC were cultured with the extracts of Malassezia furfur (MF), Candida albicans (CA) and Trichophyton rubrum (TR). The cytokine, chemokine and PGE2 amounts in the supernatants were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
Results MF induced IL-4 and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) secretion in AD patients, while induced IFN-γ and interferon-inducible protein of 10 kDa (IP-10) secretion in PV patients, however, did not induce either secretion in normal subjects. CA induced IL-4, MDC, IFN-γ and IP-10 secretion in AD and PV patients and normal subjects. In AD patients, the magnitude of IL-4 and MDC responses to CA was higher than that to MF. Compared with PV patients and normal subjects, the magnitude of IL-4 and MDC responses to CA was higher while that of IFN-γ and IP-10 responses to CA was lower in AD patients. TR induced moderate IL-4 and MDC secretion only in AD patients. The three fungi induced higher levels of PGE2 secretion in AD patients than in PV patients and normal subjects. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor NS-398 suppressed PGE2 responses to MF, CA and TR, and partially suppressed IL-4 and MDC responses to MF, CA and TR, while enhanced IFN-γ and IP-10 responses to CA in AD patients, and these effects of NS-398 were reversed by cyclic AMP analogue.
Conclusion AD patients manifest Th2-skewed responses to MF, CA and TR, which may be partially attributable to the enhanced PGE2 responses to these fungi. PV patients manifest Th1-skewed responses to MF.
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