Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease of unknown aetiology but increasing evidence suggests
that cutaneous angiogenesis plays an important role. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one
of the pro-angiogenic cytokines which is related to the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Our study evaluated
the influence of imiquimod (IMQ) on VEGF in IMQ-induced mouse model.
Balb/c female mice (n=16) 8-12 weeks of age were randomly divided into an experimental group (5%
IMQ cream) and the control group (Vaseline cream). Serum levels of circulating VEGF-A were quantified
by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. VEGF protein expression in tested skin was measured by western blotting
and immunohistochemical staining.
The tested skin in the experimental group expressed higher levels of VEGF protein than in the control group (p=0.012);
immunohistochemical staining revealed that the cells over-expressing VEGF localized predominantly in the epidermis and
vascular endothelium. Circulating VEGF-A levels showed no significant difference between the experimental and control
The IMQ-induced mouse psoriatic model showed an upregulation of VEGF in the skin lesions mimicking human psoriasis
but the circulating VEGF-A levels showed no difference. This model may be useful to investigate the role of angiogenesis