Endothelin-1 levels are increased in sera and lesional skin extracts of psoriatic patients and correlate with disease severity

Claudio Bonifati, Anna Mussi, Massimo Carducci, Antonio Pittarello, Luciano D'Auria, Aldo Venuti, Anna Bagnato, Debora Salani, Marcello Fazio, Franco Ameglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endothelins (ETs), in addition to theft systemical activities, exert important functions at the skin level, such as increase of keratinocyte proliferation, neo-angiogenesis and leukocyte chemotaxis, which are among the main characteristics of psoriasis. To assess a possible ET-1 involvement in plaque-type psoriasis, ET-1 determinations were carried out in 15 sera and 8 lesional and non-lesional biopsy skin extracts from psoriatic patients and in 15 sera and 5 biopsy skin extracts from healthy volunteers, sex- and age- matched, using commercially available ELISA kits. A statistical analysis of the results showed that ET-1 levels were increased in sera of psoriatic patients, as compared to normal subjects (p=0.04). In addition, there was a significant correlation between both serum (r=0.60, p=0.02) and lesional skin (r=0.80, p=0.03) ET-1 values versus the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index scores. Significant increases of the lesional versus the non-lesional (p=0.01) and versus the normal (p=0.04) ET-1 skin extract values were observed, together with a significant correlation between lesional and non- lesional ET-1 skin levels (r=0.79, p = 0.03). These findings were also confirmed at the mRNA level, using RT-PCR analysis, where increased ET-1 mRNA levels, densitometrically measured, were found in the lesional samples versus non-lesional and normal skin. Since interleukin-8 is involved in psoriasis and shares some biological properties with ET-1, we further evaluated the levels of this cytokine in skin extracts. The behaviour of interleukin-8 paralleled that of ET-1, and a significant correlation between these two molecules was observed in the lesional skin (r=0.76, p=0.05). Taken together, these data stress that, as previously described for interleukin-8, ET-1 may be involved in inflammatory processes associated with psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-26
Number of pages5
JournalActa Dermato-Venereologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • IL-8
  • mRNA
  • PASI score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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