The role of oxidants and antioxidants in psoriasis

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2003 Jan;17(1):34-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-3083.2003.00641.x.


Background: Psoriasis vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by well-demarcated erythema and scaly plaques. The pathogenesis of psoriasis still remains unclear. An increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and insufficient antioxidant activity have been determined in psoriatic lesions.

Aim of the study: To evaluate and compare superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GP) activity in erythrocytes, catalase (CAT) activityand malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in serum of subjects with psoriasis and controls as well as MDA levels in skin biopsies from both groups.

Study population: Twenty-two psoriatic patients (12 women and ten men) and 22 (12 women and ten men) healthy controls were involved in this study.

Findings: Statistically significant decreased levels of erythrocyte SOD and GP activities were noted in psoriatic subjects. Furthermore, a statistically significant increased serum CAT activity was found in the psoriasis group. No statistically significant difference was found in the serum MDA levels in the two groups, however, statistically significant increased tissue levels of MDA were noted in the psoriasis group.

Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis of an imbalance in the oxidant-antioxidant system in psoriasis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catalase / blood
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Female
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Oxidants / metabolism*
  • Psoriasis / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Oxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase