Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Dermatology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Serum TNF-α in psoriasis after treatment with propylthiouracil, an antithyroid thioureylene

Alan N Elias1*, Vanda S Nanda2 and Raj Pandian3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, 101 The City Drive, Orange, California 92868, USA

2 Department of Dermatology, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, 101 The City Drive, Orange, California 92868, USA

3 Quest Diagnostics, 33608 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, California 92690, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Dermatology 2004, 4:4  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-4-4

Published: 30 April 2004

Abstract

Background

Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and its receptors play important roles in the development and persistence of psoriatic plaques. The antithyroid thioureylenes, propylthiouracil and methimazole, are effective in the treatment of patients with psoriasis with a significant number of patients showing clearing or near clearing of their lesions after a several weeks of treatment.

Methods

The present study examined the effect of treatment with propylthiouracil, given in a dose of 100 mg every 8 hours for 3 months, on the serum levels of TNF-α in 9 patients with plaque psoriasis.

Results

Propylthiouracil therapy did not result in a significant decline in serum TNF-α concentrations.

Conclusions

The findings suggest that the therapeutic effect of propylthiouracil in psoriasis appears not to be related to any change in the concentration of TNF-α but occurs via an anti-proliferative mechanism as we have previously speculated.