The IL-1-like neutrophil chemoattractant activity previously reported by us to be present in the stratum corneum of psoriatic skin lesions has now been characterized further. Aqueous extracts of stratum corneum samples from psoriatic lesions and from the heels of normal volunteers were ultrafiltered to yield 10- to 30-kDa fractions. The ultrafiltered psoriatic preparations consistently contained greater neutrophil chemokinetic activity than the normal heel preparations, but in contrast the latter contained markedly greater IL-1 activity than the former. Successive chromatographic purification of psoriatic lesional stratum corneum extracts showed that the neutrophil chemokinetic material previously reported to co-elute with IL-1 activity on reversed phase HPLC, but to be distinct from C5a des arg, could now be separated by anion exchange HPLC into at least four different chemokinetic compounds that were also resolved from the IL-1 activity. The reversed phase HPLC-purified chemokinetic material from psoriatic stratum corneum was also active in a neutrophil chemotaxis assay. These findings show that samples from psoriatic skin lesions contain a group of novel 10- to 30-kDa neutrophil chemoattractant compounds that are distinct from both C5a des arg and IL-1. The contrasting neutrophil chemokinetic and IL-1 activities in psoriatic lesional and normal heel stratum corneum preparations support the finding that the two activities are produced by different compounds. These neutrophil chemoattractant and IL-1-like compounds may be of pathogenic importance in inflammatory skin disease.

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