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Abstract

Background Reactive oxygen species generated by neutrophils are closely correlated with the pathogenesis of a variety of inflammatory skin diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible role of reactive oxygen species generated by neutrophils in the mediation of acne inflammation.

Methods Bacterial phagocytotic stimuli, mediated by opsonin activity, were applied to whole blood, and neutrophil hydrogen peroxide production was measured.

Results Patients with acne inflammation showed a significantly increased level of hydrogen peroxide produced by neutrophils compared to patients with acne comedones and healthy controls. There were no marked differences in the level of hydrogen peroxide produced by neutrophils between patients with acne comedones and healthy controls. In addition, patients with acne inflammation treated by oral administration of minocycline hydrochloride, a drug that inhibits hydrogen peroxide generation by neutrophils, showed a significant decrease in the ability of neutrophils to produce hydrogen peroxide in accordance with a decrease in the inflammatory activity of acne lesions.

Conclusions The present study seems to suggest that acne inflammation is mediated in part by hydrogen peroxide generation by neutrophils.