The effects of ultraviolet B treatment on the expression of adhesion molecules by circulating T lymphocytes in psoriasis

Br J Dermatol. 2003 May;148(5):996-1000. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2003.05318.x.


Background: T lymphocytes are believed to play a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis; > 80% of T lymphocytes that infiltrate psoriatic lesions express the surface glycoprotein cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA), compared with < 20% in the blood. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) B is an effective treatment for psoriasis.

Objectives: To compare the effects of UVB treatment of psoriasis on the expression of CLA and several other surface markers expressed by circulating T lymphocytes.

Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from psoriatic patients were stained for adhesion molecules and stimulated with streptococcal antigens before and once weekly during 3 weeks of UVB treatment.

Results: A marked and progressive decrease was observed during the treatment in expression of the CLA and the very late antigen-4alpha by T cells; this decrease correlated closely with clinical improvement (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index). T-cell expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 was not significantly affected during the treatment and no change was observed in the activation markers CD25 and CD69 or lymphocyte proliferation after stimulation with streptococcal antigens or superantigens.

Conclusions: UVB treatment is associated with a marked reduction in the expression of skin-homing molecules by circulating T cells. This may be relevant to the therapeutic effect of UVB in psoriasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Bacterial / pharmacology
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / analysis
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • CD3 Complex / analysis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Integrin alpha Chains / analysis
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis*
  • Middle Aged
  • PUVA Therapy*
  • Psoriasis / immunology
  • Psoriasis / therapy*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / analysis
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / immunology
  • Superantigens / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes / chemistry*
  • T-Lymphocytes / radiation effects*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers
  • CD3 Complex
  • CD69 antigen
  • CDw49d
  • CTAGE1 protein, human
  • Integrin alpha Chains
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Superantigens