The N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (f-MLP)-induced metabolic burst activity of peripheral blood neutrophils isolated from acne patients undergoing treatment with 13-cis-retinoic acid at a dose of 1.0 mg/kg/day was investigated using a luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence assay. The mean and median chemiluminescence response were significantly greater (P less than 0.05) in patients receiving 13-cis-retinoic acid than in untreated acne patients or age-matched controls. Pre-incubation of neutrophils with 13-cis-retinoic acid (10 nmol/l) did not affect the chemiluminescence response to formyl peptide. A sequential study over 20 weeks in seven patients demonstrated that chemiluminescence peaked after 2-8 weeks of treatment. In three patients this was accompanied by a worsening of their acne. These studies suggest that, in the initial phase, treatment with 13-cis-retinoic acid may exacerbate, through pro-inflammatory priming of neutrophils, certain neutrophil-mediated inflammatory processes in acne.
Perkins W, Crocket KV, Hodgins MB, Mackie RM, Lackie JM