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Epidermal cell DNA content and intermediate filaments keratin 10 and vimentin after treatment of psoriasis with calcipotriol cream once daily, twice daily and in combination with clobetasone 17-butyrate cream or betamethasone 17-valerate cream: a comparative flow cytometric study.

Author(s): Glade CP, Van Erp PE, Van De Kerkhof PC

Affiliation(s): Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Publication date & source: 1996-09, Br J Dermatol., 135(3):379-84.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Calcipotriol and corticosteroids, two therapy modalities frequently prescribed in the treatment of psoriasis, are often used in combination. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the cell biological response pattern of concurrent use of calcipotriol and corticosteroids is different from calcipotriol monotherapy. Forty patients with chronic plaque psoriasis were divided at random in four parallel groups and treated for 8 weeks with: (1) calcipotriol cream (50 micrograms/g once daily); (2) calcipotriol cream twice daily; (3) calcipotriol and clobetasone 17-butyrate (0.5 mg/g) creams; and (4) calcipotriol and betamethasone 17-valerate (1 mg/g) creams. Before and after treatment keratotome biopsies were taken and single cell suspensions prepared for flow cytometric analysis. Flow cytometric multiparameter quantification of markers for proliferation (TO-PRO-3), differentiation (antikeratin 10) and inflammation (antivimentin) was used to evaluate all four therapy modalities. A statistically significant decrease of the percentage of basal cells in S- and G2M-phase (proliferation) was obtained with all therapy modalities, except for calcipotriol monotherapy applied once daily. A significant reduction of the number of vimentin-positive cells (non-keratinocytes) was observed following combined treatment with calcipotriol and clobetasone butyrate. In contrast, monotherapy with calcipotriol had virtually no effect on the number of vimentin-positive cells. It can be concluded that: (i) calcipotriol monotherapy, applied once daily was less antiproliferative compared with twice daily applications of calcipotriol or the combined treatment with corticosteroids and that (ii) the combination of calcipotriol and corticosteroids proved to have a marked effect on the percentage of non-keratinocytes, in contrast to the modest effect of calcipotriol.

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