Altered innate and adaptive immune responses in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa

4th Department of Internal Medicine, Univeraity of Athens, Medical School, University General Hospital Attikon, 1 Rimini Street, 124 64 Athens, Greece.
British Journal of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 4.28). 02/2007; 156(1):51-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2006.07556.x
Source: PubMed


The clinical improvement of hidradenitis suppurativa reported in a small number of patients with antitumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF)-alpha therapies supports the hypothesis for an altered immune response in these patients.
To evaluate the state of the innate and adaptive immune responses in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa.
Fifty-three patients and six healthy controls were studied. Blood was sampled and subpopulations of lymphocytes were analysed by flow cytometry; monocytes were isolated and their function was evaluated from the concentrations of TNF-alpha and interleukin (IL)-6 in supernatants of cell cultures after triggering with endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides). TNF-alpha and IL-6 were estimated by an enzyme immunoassay.
CD3/CD8 lymphocytes were lower in patients with involvement of the perineum than in controls; patients with involvement of the breast had higher levels of natural killer (NK) cells than controls. A negative correlation was found between years lapsing since initial presentation of lesions of hidradenitis and the percentage of NK cells. Monocytes isolated from healthy volunteers were more active for the secretion of TNF-alpha and IL-6 than those of patients with hidradenitis suppurativa.
A reduction in the percentage of NK cells over time and a lower monocyte response to triggering by bacterial components is observed in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa. Further research is needed to clarify if these changes are connected to an autoimmune mechanism in the pathogenesis of hidradenitis suppurativa.

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