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Comparative Study
, 125 (5), 936-44

Increased Sensitivity to Interferon-Alpha in Psoriatic T Cells

Comparative Study

Increased Sensitivity to Interferon-Alpha in Psoriatic T Cells

Karsten Wessel Eriksen et al. J Invest Dermatol.


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by abnormal epidermal proliferation. Several studies have shown that skin-infiltrating activated T cells and cytokines play a pivotal role during the initiation and maintenance of the disease. Interferon (IFN)-alpha plays an important role in host defense against infections, but recent data have also implicated IFN-alpha in psoriasis. Thus, IFN-alpha induces or aggravates psoriasis in some patients, and mice lacking a transcriptional attenuator of IFN-alpha/beta signaling spontaneously develop a psoriasis-like inflammatory skin disease characterized by CD8(+)-infiltrating T cells. In this study, we therefore investigate IFN-alpha signaling in T cells isolated from involved skin of psoriatic patients. We show that psoriatic T cells have increased and prolonged responses to IFN-alpha, on the level of signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) activation, compared with infiltrating T cells from skin of non-psoriatic donors. Functionally, the increased IFN-alpha signaling leads to an increased binding of STAT4 to the IFN-gamma promotor, IFN-gamma production, and inhibition of T cell growth. In contrast, to STAT responses to other cytokines were not changed in psoriasis. In conclusion, we provide evidence that psoriatic T cells have an increased sensitivity to IFN-alpha. Thus, our data suggest that increased IFN-alpha signaling is involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

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