Prolactin: does it have a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis?

Original article


Giasuddin AS, El-Sherif AI, El-Ojali SI.

Clinical Immunology Unit, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Arab Medical University, Benghazi, Libya.

Dermatology. 1998;197(2):119-22.


BACKGROUND: The aetiopathogenesis of psoriasis is still not fully understood. Recently, it has been reported that prolactin (PRL) exerts a proliferative effect on human keratinocytes in vitro. PRL may, therefore, play an important role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. OBJECTIVE: To assess the serum PRL level in patients with psoriasis vulgaris (PV). METHODS: Serum levels of PRL were estimated in 12 patients with PV (age: 11-45 years with mean +/- SD 30.4 +/- 10.2 years; sex: 7 males, 5 females) and the results were compared with those in 9 patients with atopic dermatitis (age: 15-47 years with mean +/- SD 28.1 +/- 11.9 years; sex: 4 males, 5 females) and 20 normal control subjects (age: 16-45 years with mean +/- SD 36.1 +/- 11.9 years; sex: 15 males, 5 females). RESULTS: Serum PRL in PV (mean +/- SD 25.8 +/- 16.1 ng/ml) was significantly higher compared to those in atopic dermatitis (mean +/- SD 9.1 +/- 4.7 ng/ml) and normal control subjects (mean +/- SD 10.3 +/- 5.3 ng/ml; ANOVA –> p = 0.0008). Three patients with PV (2 males and 1 female with ages of 35, 40 and 11 years, respectively) had the highest serum levels well above the normal range but they were <100 ng/ml, the minimum limit for the diagnosis of prolactinoma (chi2 test --> p <0.025). CONCLUSION: Since PRL belongs to the growth hormone family, its raised serum level may have a role in the hyperproliferation of kerationocytes in vivo, the hallmark of the psoriasis disease process. Keywords: Psoriasis ,Prolactin Link/DOI: