Expressions of glutathione S-transferase alpha, mu, pi, and theta in the skin samples of patients with acne rosacea

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Aug;19(8):2070-2075. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13501. Epub 2020 Jun 12.


Background: Data point to the importance of oxidative stress in rosacea. Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) have substantial roles in a wide variety of oxidative stress-related conditions.

Aim: To evaluate the immunohistochemical staining characteristics of GST alpha (GSTA), mu (GSTM), pi (GSTP), and theta (GSTT) in patients with rosacea.

Patients/methods: The study included 23 women and 7 men with rosacea (mean ± SD age 49 ± 11 year) and 15 healthy control subjects (10 women, 5 men; mean ± SD age 47.86 ± 10.88 year). For each patient, the average disease duration, disease subtype, ocular involvement, and severity score were recorded. A 3-mm punch biopsy was taken from the facial skin of each patient and control. Expression of GST isoenzymes was analyzed immunohistochemically.

Results: Expressions of GSTM1, GSTP1, and GSTT1 were significantly elevated in patients with rosacea compared to those in the control group (P = .0001, P = .0002, P < .0001, respectively). In the rosacea group, GSTT1 expression was significantly stronger than GSTP1 and GSTA1 expressions (P = .019, P < .0001, respectively). There were no significant associations between expressions of GST isoenzymes and gender, age, average duration of illness, disease subtype, ocular involvement, or severity score in the patient group (all P > .05).

Conclusions: In rosacea, the significant increase of GSTT1, GSTP1, and GSTM1 expressions might result from activation of GST as an outcome of extreme free radical generation from triggered neutrophils or ultraviolet vulnerability. These findings support the relevance of oxidant stress in the pathogenesis of rosacea.

Keywords: Glutathione S-transferase; Immunohistochemistry; Rosacea.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes* / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Rosacea*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • glutathione S-transferase alpha