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Open Access Research article

Metabolic changes in psoriatic skin under topical corticosteroid treatment

Beathe Sitter1*, Margareta Karin Johnsson23, Jostein Halgunset45 and Tone Frost Bathen6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Technology, Sør Trøndelag University College, 7004 Trondheim, Norway

2 Department of Dermatology, St. Olavs Hospital HF, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway

3 Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

4 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s and Women’s Health (LKB), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

5 Department of Pathology and Medical Genetics, St. Olavs Hospital HF, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway

6 Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

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BMC Dermatology 2013, 13:8  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-13-8

Published: 14 August 2013

Abstract

Background

MR spectroscopy of intact biopsies can provide a metabolic snapshot of the investigated tissue. The aim of the present study was to explore the metabolic pattern of uninvolved skin, psoriatic skin and corticosteroid treated psoriatic skin.

Methods

The three types of skin biopsy samples were excised from patients with psoriasis (N = 10). Lesions were evaluated clinically, and tissue biopsies were excised and analyzed by one-dimensional 1H MR spectroscopy. Relative levels were calculated for nine tissue metabolites. Subsequently, relative amounts of epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue were scored by histopathological evaluation of HES stained sections.

Results

Seven out of 10 patients experienced at least 40% reduction in clinical score after corticosteroid treatment. Tissue biopsies from psoriatic skin contained lower levels of the metabolites myo-inositol and glucose, and higher levels of choline and taurine compared to uninvolved skin. In corticosteroid treated psoriatic skin, tissue levels of glucose, myo-inositol, GPC and glycine were increased, whereas choline was reduced, in patients with good therapeutic effect. These tissue levels are becoming more similar to metabolite levels in uninvolved skin.

Conclusion

This MR method demonstrates that metabolism in psoriatic skin becomes similar to that of uninvolved skin after effective corticosteroid treatment. MR profiling of skin lesions reflect metabolic alterations related to pathogenesis and treatment effects.

Keywords:
Tissue; Metabolites; Corticosteroids; Psoriasis treatment; MR spectroscopy