White Blood Cell Ultrastructure and p53 Expression in Psoriasis

Title: Changes of ultrastructure and p-53 protein expression on the peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with vulgar form of psoriasis after balneal therapy in resort "nunisi"
: Rukhadze L, et al.
Publication: Georgian Med News. 2005 May;(5):76-80.

The authors analyzed peripheral blood lymphocyte and p53 apoptotic protein levels in patients with psoriasis before and after bathing treatment in the resort Nunisi in Georgia.

The authors took blood samples of 10 patients (22 to 46 years of age) with vulgar or common psoriasis (4 with disseminated patches or patches widely scattered throughout the body and 6 focal or localized patches). These patients had been suffering from 2 to 24 years, with remissions of 6 to 12 months.

The balneal or bath therapy in Nunisi included a course of 15 to 18 procedures at temperatures of 36 to 37 degrees celcius. The total number of patients undergoing bath therapy was 40. An additional 25 underwent basic therapy. For control, the authors used 25 people, 5 of which gave blood samples.

Lymphocytes of the blood (a type of white blood cells that are involved in the body’s immune response) were examined using electron microscopy. The authors also examined the presence of a protein called p53 in these cells. p53 was first identified as a tumor suppressor gene – it has many functions, including causing programmed cell death or apoptosis to prevent uncontrolled cell growth.

The authors found that the morphology of the lymphocytes and the presence of p53 protein were consistent with the lymphocyte necrosis (tissue death) and programmed cell death, especially in the large granular lymphocyte during basic therapy. After the bath therapy in Nunisi, the large granular lymphocyte levels and psoriatic lesions in the skin were both reduced.

Editor’s Note: Large Granular Lymphocyte (LGL), is a subset of lymphocytes in the blood. It contains T-cells and CD3-NK (natural killer) cells, both of which are involved in the immune system reaction to infection or malignant cells.

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