Increased concentration of beta-endorphin in the sera of patients with severe atopic dermatitis.
Glinski W, Brodecka H, Glinska-Ferenz M, Kowalski D
Serum beta-endorphin was measured by radioimmunoassay in 25 patients with atopic dermatitis and 100 healthy subjects. The neuropeptide was found to be markedly (p < 0.001) increased in patients with atopic dermatitis (9.2 +/- 3.4 pg/ml) as compared to normal controls (6.1 +/- 1.5 pg/ml). A correlation between increased serum beta-endorphin concentration and some clinical parameters of the disease has been found. The statistically significant elevation of beta-endorphin was found in patients with widespread atopic dermatitis lesions involving more than 20% of the skin surface (11.1 +/- 3.6 pg/ml), a high disease severity score (10.7 +/- 3.7 pg/ml), and previous bronchial asthma symptoms (11.6 +/- 3.1 pg/ml). A possible explanation of increased beta-endorphin is either its generation in atopic dermatitis lesions by inflammatory cells or activation of pituitary-adrenal axis by psychoneural factors in the mechanism of chronic stress.