Metabolic Changes in Psoriatic Skin Under Topical Corticosteroid Treatment

Beathe Sitter; Margareta Karin Johnsson; Jostein Halgunset; Tone Frost Bathen


BMC Dermatol. 2013;13(8) 

In This Article


Background: MR spectroscopy of intact biopsies can provide a metabolic snapshot of the investigated tissue. The aim of the present study was to explore the metabolic pattern of uninvolved skin, psoriatic skin and corticosteroid treated psoriatic skin.

Methods: The three types of skin biopsy samples were excised from patients with psoriasis (N = 10). Lesions were evaluated clinically, and tissue biopsies were excised and analyzed by one-dimensional 1H MR spectroscopy. Relative levels were calculated for nine tissue metabolites. Subsequently, relative amounts of epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue were scored by histopathological evaluation of HES stained sections.

Results: Seven out of 10 patients experienced at least 40% reduction in clinical score after corticosteroid treatment. Tissue biopsies from psoriatic skin contained lower levels of the metabolites myo-inositol and glucose, and higher levels of choline and taurine compared to uninvolved skin. In corticosteroid treated psoriatic skin, tissue levels of glucose, myo-inositol, GPC and glycine were increased, whereas choline was reduced, in patients with good therapeutic effect. These tissue levels are becoming more similar to metabolite levels in uninvolved skin.

Conclusion: This MR method demonstrates that metabolism in psoriatic skin becomes similar to that of uninvolved skin after effective corticosteroid treatment. MR profiling of skin lesions reflect metabolic alterations related to pathogenesis and treatment effects.