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Br J Dermatol. 2012 Aug;167(2):288-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.10964.x. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Topical valrubicin application reduces skin inflammation in murine models.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Aarhus University Hospital, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.



Valrubicin is a cytostatic anthracycline analogue, lacking toxicity by skin and tissue contact, and represents a new drug with potential for topical treatment of psoriasis and nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC); the beneficial effects have been partly explained by its antiproliferative and proapoptotic characteristics.


To assess the effect of valrubicin on skin inflammation as inflammation also plays a key role in psoriasis and NMSC.


The effect of topical valrubicin treatment on skin inflammation in vivo was addressed in skin inflammation mouse models, where 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate was used to induce irritant contact dermatitis. An acute and a chronic model were included, to investigate the effect of valrubicin in short-term inflammation and in more persistent inflammation. Inflammation-associated ear oedema was evaluated by measuring ear thickness, infiltration of neutrophil cells, and expression of inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6.


Topical valrubicin treatment effectively reduced the inflammatory response in the acute and the chronic models.


The present data document an anti-inflammatory effect of valrubicin, and may suggest an interesting new role for valrubicin in other debilitating skin diseases in which inflammation is a significant factor.

© 2012 The Authors. BJD © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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