Content » Vol 79, Issue 3

Eicosanoid and Cytokine Levels in Acute Skin Irritation in Response to Tape Stripping and Capsaicin

D. M. Reilly, M. R. Green
DOI: 10.1080/000155599750010931


We assessed the effects of physical and chemical irritants on a profile of acute inflammatory mediators in normal human skin. Skin damage in both cases is accompanied by a flux of inflammatory processes and repair mechanisms, which remain imprecisely understood. We used 10 sequential cellotape strips or topical application of 0.075% capsaicin as skin irritants and characterized the subsequent production and/or release of inflammatory mediators in suction blister fluids from human skin in vivo. In tape stripped skin, levels of prostaglandin E2 and interleukin-1α were increased 3.4-fold and 3.3-fold, respectively (p<0.0001; p<0.02), levels of tumour necrosis factor-α were decreased 3.0-fold (p<0.01), whereas levels of interleukin-6 and leukotriene B4 in blister fluids remained relatively unchanged. For the capsaicin-treated skin, levels of mediators showed only minor differences when compared with matched controls. However, a correlation was observed between levels of prostaglandin E2 and interleukin-1α in capsaicin pre-treated blister fluids (r=0.58, p<0.01, n=19). These data are consistent with prostaglandin E2 and interleukin-1α playing key roles in acute skin responses to mild irritants.


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