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The aim of this study is to determine some functions of neutrophil in patients affected by psoriatic arthritis and to compare them to those of patients affected by cutaneous psoriasis and to normal controls. We used a model of experimental cutaneous inflammation allowing to separate a cluster of purified and viable PMN cells. Then we analyzed, within the three groups, the IL-8 concentration in serum and in the supernatant obtained from the inflammatory site to gather data on the possible pathogenic role played by this cytokine in psoriatic arthritis. We studied neutrophil functions in patients with cutaneous psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, in acute phase, in comparison with healthy control subjects. We investigated in vivo neutrophil migration by Senn's skin window technique and measured adhesion assay and superoxide production in circulating and migrating neutrophils after different stimuli. We also measured IL-8 concentration in serum and in the supernatant obtained from the inflammatory site, artificially created through the skin window scrape. Neutrophil migration in vivo was significantly higher in both groups of patients than in controls. In the presence of fMLP, blood cells showed a burst of superoxide release, which was significantly more pronounced in patients when compared to healthy controls. Neutrophils from skin window scrape showed a much higher response to fMLP as compared to blood cells of all subject groups, but no differences were observed between patients and controls. No correlation was found between the three groups in adhesion ability under basal condition or in response to different stimuli by circulating and migrating neutrophils. Our results also show a great increase of IL-8 in the exudate from patients compared to controls. Our study shows that there is no difference in neutrophil functions between patients with psoriatic arthritis and cutaneous psoriasis; moreover we suggest that the source of high IL-8 levels are neutrophils rather than the keratinocytes.

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