Effects of substance P and vasoactive intestinal peptide on interferon-gamma and interleukin-4 production in severe atopic dermatitis.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2000 Sep; 85(3):227-32.AA
Recent studies have demonstrated that two T cell-derived lymphokines, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-4 (IL-4), play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD). It is known that neuropeptides, such as substance P (SP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), have various immunomodulatory effects. Elevated levels of these neuropeptides and increased staining of SP positive nerve fibers have been reported in AD patients.
The study was designed to examine the effects of SP and VIP on the production of IFN-gamma and IL-4. The aim of the study was to establish whether these neuropeptides acted to affect cytokine release in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of AD patients.
The effects of SP and VIP on the production of IFN-gamma and IL-4 in phytohemagglutinin stimulated PBMC cultures over a 48-hour period were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 15 AD patients. Non-atopic individuals were used as a control group.
Base cytokine profiles of AD patients showed significantly decreased IFN-gamma and increased IL-4 when weighed against non-atopic controls. Compared with controls, SP had a significant percentage enhancing effect on both IFN-gamma and IL-4 production at concentrations of 10(-8) M and 10(-6) M, however, this IFN-gamma up-regulatory effect of SP was reversed by spantide, a SP antagonist. The ratios of IFN-gamma: IL-4 production were significantly elevated in the SP treated AD group. Although VIP had no specific noticeable effects on the IFN-gamma and IL-4 production.
Our data may suggest that SP has an influence on the immunomodulation of AD patient by regulating IFN-gamma production, either directly or indirectly. Vasoactive intestinal peptide, on the other hand, has no modulatory effects on the cytokine production of AD patients.