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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-17

Role of prolactin in pemphigus vulgaris

1 Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Amani Nassar
MD, Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7123/01.EJDV.0000430806.59546.2f

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Prolactin (PRL) has been shown to have immunomodulatory as well as lactogenic effects. Generally, it is known that PRL may also play a role in the activity of autoimmune diseases such as pemphigus, systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis.


The aim of this study was to estimate serum PRL levels in pemphigus vulgaris (PV) patients and determine the presence of any correlation between its levels and the extent of affected body surface area or type of involvement.


Forty serum samples from 20 PV patients and 20 healthy individuals as controls were collected. Serum PRL levels were measured using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay.


Hyperprolactinemia was found in 15% of PV patients and was absent in controls. However, this showed no statistically significant difference between serum PRL levels in PV patients and controls (P=0.4). Serum PRL levels were highest in patients with mucocutaneous involvement, followed by in those with mucosal involvement, and were the least in those with cutaneous involvement. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the three types of involvements and PRL levels (P=0.95). A statistically highly significant correlation between serum PRL levels and the extent of body surface area involvement was found (P<0.001).


PRL may serve as a useful biological marker of PV activity. Therefore, in severe refractory cases of PV, estimation of serum PRL levels should be carried out, as PRL-lowering drugs serve as useful adjuvant therapy in PV treatment.

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