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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2000 August;135(4):439-44

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Pathophysiology of leukocytoclastic vasculitis

Claudy A.

From the Dermatology Clinic, University Hospital Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Lyon, France


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Leukocytoclastic vasculitis (LV) is a hypersensitivity vasculitis, similar in nature to the experimental Arthus reaction. The immune complexes circulate until some event occurs that cause deposition in blood vessel walls. Adhesion molecules and cytokines released by endothelial cells and activated neutrophils represent a key factor in this process. The membrane attack complex of complement plays a significant role in altering endothelial cell membrane integrity. Activated neutrophils release proteolytic enzymes, especially collagenases and elastases, along with free oxygen radicals that damage the vessel walls and the surrounding tissues. In conclusion, the post-capillary venule is the active orchestrator of neutrophils in LV that mediates a complex series of endothelial/leukocyte interactions.

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