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August 1991

Inflammatory Levels of Interleukin 1a Are Present in the Majority of Open Comedones in Acne Vulgaris

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology; Department of Chemical Pathology and Immunology University of Leeds Leeds LS2 9JT, England; Department of Dermatology Leeds General Infirmary Leeds LS1 3EX, England

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(8):1238-1239. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680070140024

To the Editor.—  The pathogenesis of acne is still not fully understood. In particular, the factors that initiate the inflammatory response are not known although microorganisms (especially Propionibacterium acnes) and their products remain among the likeliest candidates. The involvement of cytokines in the natural history of acne lesions has not been examined to date. As a preliminary investigation of the possible presence of cytokines in acne lesions, we decided to determine whether open comedones (blackheads that can be removed without traumatizing the skin) contained significant levels of interleukin 1 (IL-1), and whether the amount present correlated qualitatively or quantitatively with their microbial flora.Six open comedones were collected aseptically using a comedo extractor from the face (7) and back (10) of 17 untreated acne patients (10 men, 7 women) after swabbing the surface of the skin with isopropanol. After weighing, each comedone was homogenized in a micro-tissue grinder in 250

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