Acne Vulgaris (AV) is a common inflammatory disease of pilosebaceous units. Liver X Receptor-α (LXR-α) is a ligand activated transcription factor. It controls transcription of genes involved in lipid and fatty acid synthesis. Cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX2) is a rate limiting enzyme in prostaglandin synthesis. It plays important role in inflammation.To evaluate the immunohistochemical expression of LXR-α and COX2 in acne vulgaris skin biopsies to explore their possible pathogenic role in this disease.Sixty five subjects were included (45 cases with AV and 20 age and gender-matched healthy controls). Skin biopsies were taken from lesional and perilesional skin of cases and from site-matched areas of control subjects. The evaluation of LXR-α and COX2 was done using immunohistochemical technique. Data were collected, tabulated and statistically analysed using a personal computer with “(SPSS) version 11” program. Chi-square test was used to study the association between qualitative variables. Mann-Whitney test was used for comparison between quantitative variables. Student’s t-test was used for comparison between two groups having quantitative variables. Spearman’s coefficient was used to study the correlation between two different variables. Differences were considered statistically significant with p<0.05.COX2 was upregulated in lesional skin compared with peilesional and control skin both in epidermis and pilosebaceous units (p<0.001 for all). Higher epidermal COX2% was significantly associated with papulopustular acne (p=0.009) and higher acne score (p=0.018). Higher pilosebaceous units COX2% was significantly associated with papulopustular acne (p=0.04). LXR-α was upregulated in lesional skin compared with peilesional and control skin both in epidermis and pilosebaceous units (p<0.001 for all). Higher LXR-α % in epidermis and pilosebaceous units was significantly associated with papulopustular acne (p=0.01 for both) and higher acne score (p=0.03 for both). Significant positive correlation was detected between COX2% and LXR-α % in epidermis (p=0.001, r=0.87) and pilosebaceous units (p=0.001, r=0.65).Both LXR-α and COX-2 play a role in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris through their effects on cellular proliferation, inflammation and lipid synthesis. Research for new therapeutic modalities based on their inhibition is needed. More understanding of the interaction between LXR-α, COX2 and acne lesions may lead to effective interference, possibly directed toward specific cell types or steps within inflammatory pathways.
Bakry OA, El Farargy SM, El Kady NNED, Dawy HFA