An increased risk for rosacea was found in patients with heterozygous and homozygous +405C/G polymorphisms of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene, according to study findings published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

VEGF may play a role in the pathogenesis of rosacea because of its expression in epidermis and skin adnexa.2 The study examined an association between VEGF gene polymorphisms and rosacea risk by enrolling 100 patients with a rosacea diagnosis (mean age, 44.6±12.5 years). Data from these patients were compared with data from 100 age- and sex-matched controls (mean age, 44.6±12.8). A total of 5 VEGF gene polymorphisms, including +405C/G, -460T/C, -1540C/A, -1512 Ins18, and -1451C/T, were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was also used to measure serum VEGF, VEGFR-1/ FLT-1, and VEGFR-2/KDR levels.

A higher prevalence of both homozygous and heterozygous +405C/G polymorphisms of the VEGF gene was observed for the rosacea group vs the control group (P =.017). The researchers observed a 1.7-fold increased risk for rosacea in patients with the heterozygous +405C/G polymorphism of the VEGF gene (95% CI, 1.1-3.6). In addition, there was a 2.3-fold increased risk for rosacea in patients with the homozygous +405C/G polymorphism (95% CI, 1.0-4.2). As the number of polymorphic alleles increased, so did the severity of erythematotelangiectatic and phymatous rosacea (r = 0.22 and P =.002 and r = 0.23 and P =.012, respectively).

Limitations of the study include the small number of patients for whom assessment of biochemical analysis of serum VEGF, VEGFR-1, and VEGFR-2 was performed.

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The researchers concluded that “additional research with larger multiethnic patient and control groups that investigates VEGF and VEGF receptor concentrations in biopsy tissue samples is needed to further clarify the relationship between VEGF and rosacea.”

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References

1. Hayran Y, Lay I, Mocan MC, Bozduman T, Ersoy-Evans S. Vascular endothelial growth factor gene polymorphisms in patients with rosacea: a case-control study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019;81(2):348-354.

2. Man X-Y, Yang X-H, Cai S-Q, et al. Expression and localization of vascular endothelial growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 in human epidermal appendages: a comparison study by immunofluorescence. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2009;34(3):396-401.