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J Dermatol Sci. 1999 Nov;21(3):135-46.

Psoriasis and the arachidonic acid cascade.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Kyoto University, Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.


Arachidonic acid (5.8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid C20:4, n-6) is released from the cell membrane by the action of phospholipases on membrane phospholipids. Metabolites of arachidonic acid, which are generically termed eicosanoids, including prostaglandins, thromboxane, leukotrienes and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids, have been implicated as mediators or modulators of a number of physiological functions and pathological conditions in both normal and diseased human skin. Particularly, eicosanoids have been suspected to play an important role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, because a number of phenomena observed in psoriasis can be explained, at least in part, by the action of eicosanoids. This review will focus on recent progress regarding the significance of eicosanoids in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Recent developments in the molecular biology in the eicosanoids have renewed interest in the role of eicosanoids in psoriasis. New understanding of the etiology of psoriasis and advances in its treatment due to recent progress in eicosanoid biology will also be presented.

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