Production of interleukin-2 by mononuclear cells in vitro in patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Comparison with serum interleukin-2 receptor levels.
Kapp A, Neuner P, Krutmann J, Luger TA, Schöpf E
Atopic dermatitis is associated with profound immunological alterations, in particular decreased lymphoproliferative responses upon stimulation with T-cell mitogens. T-cell blastogenesis involves the production of the soluble cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2), which in turn upregulates the expression of its own receptor. To investigate the potential role of this cytokine for the pathomechanisms present in atopic dermatitis, 24-h supernatants of PHA-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with atopic dermatitis (n = 30) of a moderate to severe disease activity were tested for IL-2 activity. In addition, serum concentrations of soluble interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) were measured. Non-atopic healthy controls (n = 19) and patients with psoriasis (n = 20), an inflammatory skin disorder with distinct pathogenesis, served as controls. In comparison with psoriasis patients and normal controls, PHA-stimulated mononuclear cells of atopic dermatitis patients released significantly less IL-2 into supernatants. Moreover, there was an inverse correlation between IL-2 concentrations and body surface involvement or serum IgE levels. In contrast, serum IL-2R levels were significantly elevated in both atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, as compared with healthy controls. Furthermore, IL-2R levels in atopic dermatitis patients showed a significant correlation with IgE levels and body surface involvement. The data indicate that T cell activation may occur in both skin diseases. Atopic dermatitis, however, is further characterized by the decreased capacity of mononuclear cells to release IL-2 upon stimulation in vitro.