Lasers reduce `Substance P’ and PGP 9.5

Written by on November 8, 2005 in laser therapy with 0 Comments

This study found that laser treatment reduces both PGP 9.5 and Substance P. These results are interesting given the closely related grant recently awarded titled Structural and Biologic Changes in Rosacea Skin induced by Pulse Dye Laser and Intense Pulsed Light.

Substance P is an amino acid involved in the transmission of pain from peripheral receptors to the central nervous system. Protein Gene Product (PGP) 9.5 is a general nerve marker.

Laser Treatment of Rosacea, A Pathoetiological Study

Archives of Dermatology, Volume 140 No. 11, November 2004

Unit of Dermatology and Venereology, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objective To study the effect of laser treatment on rosacea, a common facial skin disease with symptoms of blushing, redness, telangiectasis, papules, pustules, and diffuse swelling of the skin, we focused on the stinging sensation and performed immunohistochemical evaluation of nerve density and neuropeptide expression.

Design: Clinical investigation as well as the lactic acid (stinger) test was performed before and 3 months after the treatment with flashlamp pulsed dye laser, when skin biopsy specimens were also taken.

Setting: University hospital.

Patients: Thirty-two patients with rosacea, all with positive results from the lactic acid “stinger” test, were treated by flashlamp pulsed dye laser.

Main Outcome Measures: The biopsy specimens were taken from the stinger-positive areas in the nasolabial folds, fixed in Lanas fixative (10% formalin and 0.4% picric acid), and analyzed for the expression of protein gene product 9.5 (general nerve marker), substance P, calcitonin gene–related peptide, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, using a biotinylated streptavidin technique.

Results: Thirty-one patients who were stinger positive before treatment showed decreased scores after treatment, and 1 patient had the same stinger test score before and after treatment. The number of protein gene product 9.5–positive fibers in the epidermis (P< .05) as well as the papillary dermis (P< .01) was decreased. This was also the case for substance P in the papillary dermis (P< .001), whereas no evident difference was noted for vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and calcitonin gene–related peptide. No difference was found for contact between nerves and vessels (factor VIII positive). Conclusions: Laser treatment of rosacea that destroys small vessels has a good medical relevance because it reduces the unpleasant symptoms of the sensitive skin. A neurogenic etiology of stinging may be possible.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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