Increased chemiluminescence of whole blood and normal T-lymphocyte subsets in severe nodular acne and acne fulminans.
Karvonen SL, Räsänen L, Soppi E, Hyöty H, Lehtinen M, Reunala T
To investigate the inflammatory and immunological aspects of severe acne, we examined the luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence of whole blood, T-cell subsets and natural killer cell functions in 11 patients with severe nodular acne and 4 patients with acne fulminans. In patients with severe nodular acne, the active phase of the disease, compared to the values in remission (means 47 mV, SD 24.8 and 32 mV, SD 8.3, p < 0.05). The patients with acne fulminans also showed high values in the active phase of the disease (mean mV 68.3, SD3.5) compared to remission (mean 30.5 mV, SD 15.3). No marked alterations were seen in the percentages of T-helper cells, T-suppressor cells or DR-positive lymphocytes or in the levels of soluble interleukin 2 receptor. The percentages and activities of natural killer cells did not show any significant changes either. Five patients (4 with severe nodular acne and one with acne fulminans, accounting for 33% of all patients) carried HLA Cw6 antigen, which is a significantly increased frequency compared to health controls (pc = 0.015). The present chemiluminescence results suggest that peripheral blood neutrophils are activated in patients with severe acne.