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Serum chemerin is increased in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis and normalizes following treatment with infliximab


  • Funding sources
    This work was supported by the Ministero della Salute and the Ministero dell’Istruzione, Università e Ricerca Scientifica [Programmi di Ricerca Scientifica di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale (PRIN)], and by the Association for Dermatological Research.

  • Conflicts of interest
    None declared.

Paolo Gisondi.


Background  Chronic plaque psoriasis is associated with obesity, which is a metabolic and inflammatory disorder. Adipokines are involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and they are biomarkers of obesity-related inflammation.

Objectives  To measure serum adipokines in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis treated with infliximab.

Methods  Serum levels of chemerin, resistin, visfatin, C-reactive protein (CRP), lipids, glycaemia and liver enzymes were measured in 40 patients with psoriasis and 40 controls matched by age, sex and body mass index (BMI). Adipokines were measured at baseline and after 2–12 months of treatment with infliximab 5 mg kg−1.

Results  At baseline, levels of chemerin (195·9 ± 48·5 vs. 145·6 ± 27·1 ng mL−1), resistin (2·03 ± 0·9 vs. 1·4 ± 0·5 ng mL−1) and CRP (5·5 ± 7·3 vs. 1·9 ± 4·4 mg L−1) were higher (< 0·01) in patients with psoriasis compared with controls. Psoriasis was associated with elevated chemerin level independently of age, sex, BMI and levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Chemerin was linearly correlated to CRP (= 0·4, = 0·01) and resistin (= 0·3, = 0·01). Chemerin levels were higher in patients affected by psoriatic arthritis than in patients with psoriasis without arthritis (195·5 ± 49·1 vs. 158·1 ± 37·5 ng mL−1, = 0·01). After 2 months of infliximab treatment a significant reduction of chemerin, resistin and CRP levels was observed.

Conclusions  Patients with psoriasis have higher blood levels of adipokines, which normalize during therapy with infliximab. Whether this reduction is a direct effect of infliximab or secondary to a reduction of inflammation should be further investigated.