Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that is thought to be related to oxidative stress. Much progress has been made in understanding the pathophysiology of psoriasis in relation to the immunologic and antioxidant systems. However, this progress has been hindered by the lack of an appropriate animal model for psoriasis. Recently, imiquimod (IQM)-induced psoriasislike cutaneous inflammation has been reported in mice and humans. We verified the usefulness of an IQM-induced mouse model in relation to the antioxidant system. BALB/C female mice at 8-10 weeks of age were treated with IQM cream in this study. We analyzed clinical and histopathological changes. Increased reactive oxygen species production was measured by glutathione assay. Levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) were determined by western blotting and immunohistochemical analyses. The activity of SOD was measured by a SOD activity assay kit. Application of IQM-induced skin inflammation similar to psoriasis in clinical and histopathological aspects. Accumulation of immune cells was confirmed. Oxidative stress was increased, the antioxidant enzyme MPO levels were increased, and both SOD levels and activity were decreased. In conclusion, the IQM-induced mouse model showed an aberrant antioxidant system. Levels of MPO and oxidative stress were increased, and the level and activity of SOD were decreased. Since this model seemed to be an appropriate model for psoriasis, it can be used to further study the pathogenic role of redox imbalance in psoriasis.
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