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Regul Pept. 1999 Mar 17;80(1-2):49-55.

Identification of pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) and PACAP type 1 receptor in human skin: expression of PACAP-38 is increased in patients with psoriasis.

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  • 1Department of Surgery and Physiology, University of California (UCSF), Medical Center, San Francisco 94143-0660, USA.


Morphological and biochemical evidence is presented for the presence of pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP) and the high-affinity PACAP-1 receptor subtype in human skin. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed PACAP-immunoreactivity (IR) to be present predominantly in dermal nerve fibers close to the dermal-epidermal border, hair follicles, blood vessels and sweat glands. Radioimmunoassay, chromatographic analysis and Western blotting revealed this PACAP-IR to be PACAP-38 whereas the second molecular form, PACAP-27, is absent. In tissue of psoriasis patients significantly more PACAP-38 protein was detected as compared to normal skin. Using RT-PCR, the expression of a high-affinity PACAP-1 receptor in human skin was observed. These results indicate a possible role for PACAP-38 in inflammatory processes of psoriasis.

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