Background: It is suggested that skin fungi may be involved in the development of atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis vulgaris (PV).
Objective: We studied skin fungus-induced Th1- or Th2-related cytokine, chemokine and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) secretion in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with AD and PV and normal subjects.
Methods: PBMC were cultured with the extracts of Malassezia furfur (MF), Candida albicans (CA) and Trichophyton rubrum (TR). The cytokine, chemokine and PGE2 amounts in the supernatants were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
Results: MF induced IL-4 and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) secretion in AD patients, while induced IFN-gamma and interferon-inducible protein of 10 kDa (IP-10) secretion in PV patients, however, did not induce either secretion in normal subjects. CA induced IL-4, MDC, IFN-gamma and IP-10 secretion in AD and PV patients and normal subjects. In AD patients, the magnitude of IL-4 and MDC responses to CA was higher than that to MF. Compared with PV patients and normal subjects, the magnitude of IL-4 and MDC responses to CA was higher while that of IFN-gamma and IP-10 responses to CA was lower in AD patients. TR induced moderate IL-4 and MDC secretion only in AD patients. The three fungi induced higher levels of PGE2 secretion in AD patients than in PV patients and normal subjects. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor NS-398 suppressed PGE2 responses to MF, CA and TR, and partially suppressed IL-4 and MDC responses to MF, CA and TR, while enhanced IFN-gamma and IP-10 responses to CA in AD patients, and these effects of NS-398 were reversed by cyclic AMP analogue.
Conclusion: AD patients manifest Th2-skewed responses to MF, CA and TR, which may be partially attributable to the enhanced PGE2 responses to these fungi. PV patients manifest Th1-skewed responses to MF.