Psychological stress, endocrine and immune response in patients with lichen planus

Authors

  • Dorota Krasowska MD, PhD,

    1. From the Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Paediatric Dermatology; Department of Clinical Immunology, Medical University of Lublin, Jaczewskiego Street 8, 20–954 Lublin, Poland, Department of Educational Psychology and Psychoprophilactics, Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Plac Litewski 5, 20–080 Lublin, Poland; and Department of Adult Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Raclawickie 14, 20–950 Lublin, Poland
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  • Aldona Pietrzak MD,

    1. From the Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Paediatric Dermatology; Department of Clinical Immunology, Medical University of Lublin, Jaczewskiego Street 8, 20–954 Lublin, Poland, Department of Educational Psychology and Psychoprophilactics, Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Plac Litewski 5, 20–080 Lublin, Poland; and Department of Adult Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Raclawickie 14, 20–950 Lublin, Poland
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  • Agata Surdacka MD,

    1. From the Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Paediatric Dermatology; Department of Clinical Immunology, Medical University of Lublin, Jaczewskiego Street 8, 20–954 Lublin, Poland, Department of Educational Psychology and Psychoprophilactics, Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Plac Litewski 5, 20–080 Lublin, Poland; and Department of Adult Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Raclawickie 14, 20–950 Lublin, Poland
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  • Violetta Tuszyńska-Bogucka PhD,

    1. From the Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Paediatric Dermatology; Department of Clinical Immunology, Medical University of Lublin, Jaczewskiego Street 8, 20–954 Lublin, Poland, Department of Educational Psychology and Psychoprophilactics, Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Plac Litewski 5, 20–080 Lublin, Poland; and Department of Adult Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Raclawickie 14, 20–950 Lublin, Poland
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  • Konrad Janowski PhD,

    1. From the Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Paediatric Dermatology; Department of Clinical Immunology, Medical University of Lublin, Jaczewskiego Street 8, 20–954 Lublin, Poland, Department of Educational Psychology and Psychoprophilactics, Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Plac Litewski 5, 20–080 Lublin, Poland; and Department of Adult Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Raclawickie 14, 20–950 Lublin, Poland
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  • Jacek Roliński MD, PhD

    1. From the Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Paediatric Dermatology; Department of Clinical Immunology, Medical University of Lublin, Jaczewskiego Street 8, 20–954 Lublin, Poland, Department of Educational Psychology and Psychoprophilactics, Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Plac Litewski 5, 20–080 Lublin, Poland; and Department of Adult Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Raclawickie 14, 20–950 Lublin, Poland
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Dorota Krasowska, MD, PhD Department of Dermatology Venerology and Paediatric Dermatology Medical University of Lublin Radziwillowska Street 13 20–080 Lublin Poland
E-mail: dorota.krasowska@am.lublin.pl

Abstract

Background  Lichen planus still remains a disease of unclear etiology. Inconclusive reports exist on the role of stress the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in this disease. The objective of this study was to find associations between levels of stress and indices of the endocrine and immune response in patients with lichen planus.

Methods  A total of 57 patients with lichen planus and 27 healthy control volunteers took part in the study. All participants completed questionnaires measuring the frequency of stressful life events. Blood samples were collected and analyzed for levels of endocrine and immune parameters: neopterin, cortisol, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, IL-18, soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R), sIL-6R, sFasL, T lymphocyte antigens CD3, CD4, CD8, CD25, CD69, HLA-DR, CD16/56, CD45RO and CD45RA.

Results  Patients differed significantly from the controls in the levels of neopterin (but not cortisol), expression of CD25, CD16, CD8, and CD45RA antigens on T lymphocytes. Patients had also significantly higher levels of sIL-2R, sFasL, sIL-6R and IL-18 than healthy controls. Patients and controls did not differ in the overall frequency of stressful life events experienced over 1 year prior to the study. However, two subgroups of patients with various stress levels differed significantly in the expression of CD25, HLA-DR, CD45RO, and CD45RA on T lymphocytes.

Conclusions  Our findings suggest that stress may alter numerous parameters of endocrine and immune response in lichen planus, which provides support for its role in the etiopathogenesis of this disease.

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