Study of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine profile in the patients with parthenium dermatitis.
Background: Parthenium dermatitis is a common airborne allergic contact dermatitis induced by exposures to the weed Parthenium hysterophorus. The disease manifests as itchy erythematous papules, papulovesicular and plaque lesions on exposed areas of the body. Objectives: The aim of this study was to show the alterations in pro/anti-inflammatory cytokines in parthenium dermatitis. Methods: The study included 50 patients with parthenium dermatitis confirmed by patch testing using aqueous extracts of P. hysterophorus and 50 age-matched healthy controls. The levels of pro-inflammatory [tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and IL-17] and anti-inflammatory (IL-4 and IL-10) cytokines were estimated by commercially available high sensitivity enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Results: All the dermatitis patients showed significantly (P<0.001) elevated levels of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-17 levels as compared to healthy controls. In contrast, the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 showed an insignificant decrease (P<0.217) and a decrease in level of IL-10 was statistically significant (0.001) compared with controls. Conclusions: The present study suggests the involvement of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of parthenium dermatitis. A decrease in levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines was demonstrated, which could not downregulate pro-inflammatory cytokines in parthenium dermatitis.