Effects of tacrolimus ointment on the expression of substance P, nerve growth factor, and neurotrophin-3 in atopic dermatitis
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2009
© 2009 The International Society of Dermatology
International Journal of Dermatology
Volume 48, Issue 4, pages 431–438, April 2009
How to Cite
Kim, H.-O., Lee, C.-H., Ahn, H.-K. and Park, C.-W. (2009), Effects of tacrolimus ointment on the expression of substance P, nerve growth factor, and neurotrophin-3 in atopic dermatitis. International Journal of Dermatology, 48: 431–438. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.03968.x
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 2009
Background There is increasing evidence that neuropeptides may be involved in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD).
Objectives To investigate the effects of tacrolimus on the neuropeptides substance P (SP), nerve growth factor (NGF), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the skin, and SP and NGF in the serum, of patients with AD.
Methods Lesional skin specimens were obtained from eight AD patients and eight normal controls. For 8 weeks, AD patients applied 0.03% tacrolimus ointment to all affected areas twice daily. Blood samples and skin biopsies were then repeated. The participants’ serum SP and NGF levels, as well as the SP, NGF, and NT-3 immunoreactive cell counts, were evaluated in the epidermal, dermal, and perivascular areas of lesional skin before and after treatment.
Results The immunoreactive cell counts of SP, NGF, and NT-3 in skin were higher in AD patients than in normal controls. Most cell counts decreased significantly after treatment; however, the change in serum SP and NGF was not statistically significant.
Conclusions We demonstrated semiquantitative differences in neuropeptides in the skin of AD patients. In addition, topical tacrolimus reduced the levels of neuropeptides in the tissues of AD patients.