Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 187-193

Expression of apoptosis regulatory markers in the skin of advanced hepatitis-C virus liver patients

1 Department of Dermatology, STD and Andrology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Minya University, Al-Minya, Egypt
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Minya University, Al-Minya, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Moetaz El-Domyati
Dermatology department, Al-Minya University, 2 Obour Buildings, Salah Salem St., Apt. 53, Nasr City 11371, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.96189

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Background: Hepatitis-C virus (HCV) infection is considered a major worldwide public health problem with a global prevalence. Maintenance of skin homeostasis requires a delicate balance between proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Meanwhile, it is unclear if there is an altered keratinocyte proliferation/apoptosis balance in advanced liver disease with HCV infection. Aim: This work aimed to evaluate the epidermal thickness and changes in the expression of apoptosis regulatory markers as well as apoptotic index in skin samples of advanced HCV liver patients compared to normal controls. Materials and Methods: Twenty biopsies were taken from apparently normal skin of advanced HCV liver disease patients, as well as five healthy control subjects. These specimens were used for histometric epidermal measurement, immunohistochemical staining of apoptosis regulatory proteins (Bax, Fas, p53, Caspase-3, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL) as well as the TUNEL technique for detection of apoptotic cells. Results: The mean epidermal thickness was significantly lower than the control group (P=0.000). There were significant overexpression of pro-apoptotic markers (Bax, Fas, P53, and Caspase-3) in patients (P=0.03, 0.03, 0.003, 0.003 respectively), with increased apoptotic index in HCV liver patients (P=0.002) when compared to normal controls. On the other hand, no statistically significant difference were encountered in the expression of antiapoptotic markers (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL) in HCV patients when compared to normal controls (P=0.5, 0.9, respectively). Conclusion: These findings suggest that an alteration in the proliferation/apoptosis balance is present in the skin of HCV liver patients.

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