An analysis of select pathogenic messages in lesional and non-lesional psoriatic skin using non-invasive tape harvesting

J Invest Dermatol. 2006 Oct;126(10):2234-41. doi: 10.1038/sj.jid.5700412. Epub 2006 Jun 1.


We report the use of non-invasive tape stripping to sample psoriatic lesional and non-lesional skin in 96 patients. The procedure was well tolerated with any discomfort described as mild; we did not observe any cases of Koebner phenomena at any non-lesional tape-stripped sites. Tape-harvested epidermis was extracted for RNA, which was profiled by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. This analysis revealed that mRNAs for tumor necrosis factor alpha, IFNgamma, Krt-16, CD2, IL-23A, IL-12B, and vascular endothelial growth factor are overexpressed in the "average" psoriatic lesion in a majority of patients. In addition, 10 of these patients were biopsied at lesional and non-lesional sites and the expression data compared to tape-stripping data. This comparison shows that five of seven mRNA are more highly expressed in cells captured by tape stripping than biopsy, suggesting that the upper aspect of a lesion contains cells very active in the disease. The tape-harvesting data reveal that approximately 46% of lesions have at least one pathogenic mRNA within non-lesional skin limits. Data demonstrate that tape stripping reveals mRNA markers not detected in biopsy samples and thus the method may be a useful supplement to biopsy.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Humans
  • Keratin-16
  • Keratins / genetics
  • Psoriasis / pathology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • KRT16 protein, human
  • Keratin-16
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Keratins