Background Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is recognized a pivotal pro-angiogenic factor responsible for new blood vessels formation in psoriatic lesion.
Objectives The aim of the study was to analyse serum concentrations of VEGF and its soluble receptors (sVEGF) R1 and R2 in psoriatic patients before and after treatment.
Methods Serum samples were collected before and after 14 days of standard topical therapy, from 44 patients with exacerbated chronic plaque-type psoriasis and VEGF, sVEGF R1 and sVEGF R2 concentrations were measured using an enzyme immunoassay. Data were analysed with respect to baseline values of the psoriasis area severity index (PASI).
Results Baseline mean serum levels of VEGF and sVEGF R1, but not sVEGF R2 were significantly higher in patients than in healthy controls. VEGF demonstrated significant correlation with PASI score. Treatment resulted in significant reduction of VEGF serum concentration, particularly in patients with severe course of the disease (PASI >20) and increase in sVEGF R1 concentration in patients with mild disease activity (PASI <10). Moreover, serum sVEGF R1 level after treatment termination was significantly higher in patients with mild than severe course of psoriasis.
Conclusions We confirmed the association between psoriasis activity and serum VEGF concentrations, which can be recognized as an indicator of the disease severity. However, the increase of serum sVEGF R1 concentrations can predict amelioration of clinical signs.