Sulphurous medicinal waters increase somatostatin release: It is a possible mechanism of anti-inflammatory effect of balneotherapy in psoriasis

Authors: Boros M (1) , Kemény Á (1) , Sebők B (2) , Bagoly T (1) , Perkecz A (1) , Petőházi Z (1) , Maász G (3) , Schmidt J (3) , Márk L (3) , László T (4) , Helyes Z (1) , Szolcsányi J (1) , Pintér E (1)
(1) Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, University of Pécs (2) Zsigmondy Vilmos Harkány Medicinal Spa Hospital (3) Department of Biochemistry and Medical Chemistry, University of Pécs (4) Department of Pathology, University of Pécs
Source: European Journal of Integrative Medicine Volume 5, Issue 2, April 2013, Pages 109–118
DOI: 10.1016/j.eujim.2012.09.005 Publication date: 2013 Apr E-Publication date: Oct. 22, 2012 Availability: abstract Copyright: © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Language: English Countries: Not specified Location: Not specified Correspondence address: Pinter E,
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, University of Pécs, 12 Szigeti Street, H-7624 Pécs, Hungary.
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Article abstract


Balneotherapy has been used in the treatment of immune-mediated skin diseases, but its molecular mechanism has yet to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to observe the effect of sulphurous medicinal water in a murine dermatitis model and on psoriatic patients; moreover to investigate the role of hydrogen sulphide in the release of somatostatin during bathing treatment.

Materials and methods

Inflammation was induced by oxazolone in the paw skin of mice. Oedema, TNF-α concentration, histological changes and myeloperoxidase level were investigated. Mice were bathed in medicinal water or distilled water for 20 min/day. To define the effect of hydrogen sulphide on somatostatin release mice were bathed in sodium hydrosulphide solution for 2 weeks. Somatostatin plasma concentration was detected by nanoHPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS.

In the clinical study nineteen patients (PASI: 2.2–21.6) received 2 × 25-min bath treatment for 21 days. Somatostatin-like immunoreactivity of the plasma was determined by radioimmunoassay. Before and after the balneotherapy skin biopsies were performed.


Oxazolone caused 29.43–33.73% paw swelling which was significantly reduced by the medicinal water. Myeloperoxidase, TNF-α levels and histological changes of the skin were unaltered. Somatostatin plasma concentration significantly increased in response to the bathing treatment.

In the clinical study PASI markedly declined (0–13.4) and the plasma level of somatostatin increased significantly. Langerhans-cells migrated from the dermal pool to the epidermis.


We conclude that balneotherapy is an effective treatment in psoriasis. Our results provided evidence that somatostatin released by H2S plays role in the mechanism of action of sulphurous medicinal water.

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