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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 438963, 6 pages
Research Article

The Role of Cytokines, Chemokines, and Growth Factors in the Pathogenesis of Pityriasis Rosea

1Section of Dermatology, IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino-IST, 16132 Genoa, Italy
2Laboratory of Microbiology and Virology, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Via Cadore, 48, 20900 Monza, Italy
3Department of Internal Medicine, IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino-IST and University of Genoa, 16132 Genoa, Italy

Received 20 May 2015; Accepted 23 August 2015

Academic Editor: Cristiana C. Garcia

Copyright © 2015 Francesco Drago et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Pityriasis rosea (PR) is an exanthematous disease related to human herpesvirus- (HHV-) 6/7 reactivation. The network of mediators involved in recruiting the infiltrating inflammatory cells has never been studied. Object. To investigate the levels of serum cytokines, growth factors, and chemokines in PR and healthy controls in order to elucidate the PR pathogenesis. Materials and Methods. Interleukin- (IL-) 1, IL-6, IL-17, interferon- (IFN-) γ, tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), and chemokines, CXCL8 (IL-8) and CXCL10 (IP-10), were measured simultaneously by a multiplex assay in early acute PR patients’ sera and healthy controls. Subsequently, sera from PR patients were analysed at 3 different times (0, 15, and 30 days). Results and discussion. Serum levels of IL-17, IFN-γ, VEGF, and IP-10 resulted to be upregulated in PR patients compared to controls. IL-17 has a key role in host defense against pathogens stimulating the release of proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines. IFN-γ has a direct antiviral activity promoting NK cells and virus specific T cells cytotoxicity. VEGF stimulates vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. IP-10 can induce chemotaxis, apoptosis, cell growth, and angiogenesis. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that these inflammatory mediators may modulate PR pathogenesis in synergistic manner.