Simultaneous measurement of multiple Th1 and Th2 serum cytokines in psoriasis and correlation with disease severity

Mediators Inflamm. 2003 Oct;12(5):309-13. doi: 10.1080/09629350310001619753.


Background: Psoriatic plaques have been shown to contain increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Serum levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-7, IL-8, and interferon (IFN)-gamma have been reported elevated in psoriatic patients.

Aim: To evaluate serum cytokine profiles in psoriasis patients by improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique and to correlate these levels with disease severity.

Methods: We analyzed single serum samples from 10 patients with active untreated psoriasis, two patients with active treated psoriasis, and five healthy volunteers for major T helper type 1 and T helper type 2 cytokines using the LINCOplex ELISA multi-analyte detection system that permits simultaneous detection of multiple cytokines from a single sample. The disease severity, including erythema, induration, scale, and surface area, was assessed.

Results: IFN-gamma was markedly elevated in all sera from psoriasis patients, 33.8 +/- 1.3 pg/ml (mean +/- standard error) versus 8 +/- 1.5 pg/ml for normal controls (p < 0.01), and positively correlated with all indices of disease severity (Spearman r > 0.6). IL-8 was also increased in psoriasis patients (24.4 +/- 1.8 pg/ml) versus normal controls (3.6 +/- 1.2 pg/ml) (p < 0.05) and positively correlated with the degree of erythema (Spearman r > 0.6). Mean IL-12 levels were decreased in sera from psoriasis patients (8.5 +/- 1.2 pg/ml) compared with normal controls (42.2 +/- 5.3 pg/ml) (p < 0.01). Also, serum IL-10 levels were below detection levels in psoriatics compared with controls (6.4 +/- 1.3 pg/ml).

Conclusions: This new ELISA system allowed rapid and reliable detection of numerous cytokines in single serum samples from patients with psoriasis. We observed that IFN-gamma and IL-8 cytokines were elevated in psoriatics and correlated with parameters of disease severity while IL-10 and IL-12 were decreased.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-12 / blood
  • Interleukin-8 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / blood*
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis
  • Psoriasis / immunology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism*
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-8
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interferon-gamma