Content » Vol 95, Issue 4

Investigative Report

Decrease in Chymase Activity is Associated with Increase in IL-6 Expression in Mast Cells in Atopic Dermatitis

Tiina Ilves, Ilkka T. Harvima
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-1979


Mast cell chymase and interleukin (IL)-6 can be involved in atopic dermatitis and chymase can degrade IL-6. Our aim was therefore to study the expression of mast cell chymase and IL-6 in atopic skin using enzyme- and immunohistochemistry and to analyse their interaction in vitro. Chymase activity was significantly reduced in mast cells in skin lesions whereas the percentage of IL-6+ mast cells was increased. Low recombinant human (rh)-chymase concentration (10–100 ng/ml) stimulated and higher concentration (1,000 ng/ml) inhibited the proliferation of T cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Rh-IL-6 inhibited T-cell proliferation, and even inhibited the proliferation induced by rh-chymase. Pretreatment of rh-IL-6 with a high rh-chymase concentration prevented the IL-6-induced inhibition in T-cell proliferation. The results suggest that reduction in chymase activity can give rise to increased cellular effects of mast cell IL-6 and that chymase and IL-6 can modify each other’s effects.


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