Many emerging studies have implicated the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) cytokine signalling mechanism in disease pathogenesis. This signalling pathway is involved in haematopoiesis and immune development. Mutations in genes regulating JAK-STAT signalling can cause common inflammatory disorders and myeloproliferative disorders. JAK and STAT inhibitors are new management tools for disorders such as myelofibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence suggests that the cytokine components of the JAK-STAT pathways play a crucial role in common skin disorders, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. We present an overview for the clinical dermatologist of the significance of these signalling pathways in various skin disorders, and introduce the potential application of JAK and STAT inhibition as a new therapeutic tool in dermatology.
© 2014 British Association of Dermatologists.