Psoriasis vulgaris lesions contain discrete populations of Th1 and Th17 T cells

Michelle A. Lowes, Toyoko Kikuchi, Judilyn Fuentes-Duculan, Irma Cardinale, Lisa C. Zaba, Asifa S. Haider, Edward P. Bowman, James G. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

739 Scopus citations


The importance of T helper 17 (Th17) cells in inflammation and autoimmunity is now being appreciated. We analyzed psoriasis skin lesions and peripheral blood for the presence of IL-17-producing T cells. We localized Th17 cells predominantly to the dermis of psoriasis skin lesions, confirmed that IL-17 mRNA increased with disease activity, and demonstrated that IL-17 mRNA expression normalized with cyclosporine therapy. IL-22 mRNA expression mirrored IL-17 and both were downregulated in parallel with keratin 16. Th17 cells are a discrete population, separate from Th1 cells (which are also in psoriasis lesions), and Th2 cells. Our findings suggest that psoriasis is a mixed Th1 and Th17 inflammatory environment. Th17 cells may be proximal regulators of psoriatic skin inflammation, and warrant further attention as therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1211
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology

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