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J Invest Dermatol. 1996 Nov;107(5):778-82.

Differential expression of GRO-alpha and IL-8 mRNA in psoriasis: a model for neutrophil migration and accumulation in vivo.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Wurzburg Medical School, Germany.


Dense focal accumulation of neutrophils in the upper epidermis is a hallmark of psoriasis. Because the signals for neutrophil diapedesis and migration in vivo are not fully understood, psoriatic lesions with pronounced migration of neutrophils may serve as an important model for studying neutrophil chemotaxis. In this study, we present evidence for differential expression of the neutrophil chemotactic cytokines growth-related oncogene alpha, interleukin-8, and ENA-78 (epithelial cell derived and neutrophil-activating properties, 78 amino acids) in psoriatic lesions. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry of serial sections were employed to identify and microanatomically localize the cells producing these chemokines. High levels of focal interleukin-8 message were found to be expressed in the upper epidermis by keratinocytes and, most importantly, neutrophils themselves. Growth-related oncogene alpha transcripts were detected in clusters of keratinocytes of the upper epidermis at the same sites where interleukin-8 mRNA was abundant. In contrast to interleukin-8, growth-related oncogene alpha was also detected in the papillary dermis produced by vessel-associated cells. Sites of interleukin-8 and growth-related oncogene alpha mRNA expression were associated with infiltration of neutrophils. Interestingly, mRNA expression of the highly homologous chemokine ENA-78 was quiescent. In conclusion, our data indicate that growth-related oncogene alpha is an important chemoattractant for neutrophil diapedesis in vivo, whereas further migration of neutrophils and formation of micropustules appears to be influenced by the cooperative action of both growth-related oncogene alpha and interleukin-8.

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