Short-Term Exposure to a Western Diet Induces Psoriasiform Dermatitis by Promoting Accumulation of IL-17A-Producing γδ T Cells

J Invest Dermatol. 2020 Sep;140(9):1815-1823. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2020.01.020. Epub 2020 Feb 10.


A Western diet (WD)-characterized by its high fat and simple sugar content-is thought to predispose individuals to inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis through the development of obesity. This scenario, however, is being challenged by emerging data suggesting that dietary components, rather than obesity itself, may exacerbate psoriasis. We herein show that short-term feeding with a diet analogous to the WD in mice leads to T helper type 1-/T helper type 17-biased skin inflammation before significant body weight gain. Feeding for as little as 4 weeks with a WD promoted mild dermatitis and accumulation of IL-17A-producing γδ T cells in the skin. Strikingly, γδ T cells from WD-fed mice exhibited enriched IL-23 receptor expression and increased the potential to produce IL-17A after IL-23 stimulation. In contrast to wild-type mice, WD-fed TCRδ-deficient and CCR6-deficient mice had reduced skin inflammation and IL-17A expression. Supplementation with a bile acid sequestrant, cholestyramine, prevented WD-induced skin inflammation along with a reduction in the infiltration of γδ T cells and the expression of proinflammatory mediators. In summary, our data revealed dietary influences in inflammatory signaling in the skin. The dysregulation of IL-23 pathways and bile acid pathways may be key to the development of WD-associated psoriasiform dermatitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, Western / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-23 / metabolism
  • Intraepithelial Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Intraepithelial Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Psoriasis / etiology*
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / deficiency
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / immunology*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism
  • Th17 Cells / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / metabolism


  • Il17a protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-23
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta