Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory dermatosis, is frequently associated with metabolic disorders, suggesting that adipokines are involved in its pathogenesis. We recently reported that the adipokine visfatin activates NF-κB and STAT3 in keratinocytes. Antimicrobial peptide expression is enhanced in psoriatic lesions and may promote disease development. Here, we investigated the effects of visfatin on antimicrobial peptide expression. In vitro, visfatin enhanced basal and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced mRNA expression and secretion of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP), and enhanced TNF-α-induced human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2), hBD-3, and S100A7 mRNA expression and secretion in human keratinocytes. siRNAs targeting CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-α (C/EBPα) suppressed visfatin-induced and visfatin plus TNF-α-induced CAMP production. siRNAs targeting NF-κB p65 and STAT3 suppressed visfatin plus TNF-α-induced hBD-2 and S100A7 production. siRNAs targeting c-Jun and STAT3 suppressed visfatin plus TNF-α-induced hBD-3 production. Visfatin and/or TNF-α enhanced C/EBP transcriptional activity and C/EBPα phosphorylation, which were suppressed by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibition. Visfatin and/or TNF-α induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Visfatin increased mRNA and protein expression of CAMP, hBD-2, hBD-3, and S100A7 orthologs in murine imiquimod-treated skin, mimicking psoriasis. In conclusion, visfatin enhances CAMP, hBD-2, hBD-3, and S100A7 production in human keratinocytes and their orthologs in murine imiquimod-treated psoriatic skin. Visfatin may potentiate the development of psoriasis via antimicrobial peptides.
Copyright © 2013 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.