Response of psoriasis to a lymphocyte-selective toxin (DAB389IL-2) suggests a primary immune, but not keratinocyte, pathogenic basis

Nat Med. 1995 May;1(5):442-7. doi: 10.1038/nm0595-442.


Psoriasis is a hyperproliferative and inflammatory skin disorder of unknown aetiology. A fusion protein composed of human interleukin-2 and fragments of diphtheria toxin (DAB389IL-2), which selectively blocks the growth of activated lymphocytes but not keratinocytes, was administered systemically to ten patients to gauge the contribution of activated T cells to the disease. Four patients showed striking clinical improvement and four moderate improvement, after two cycle of low dose IL-2-toxin. The reversal of several molecular markers of epidermal dysfunction was associated with a marked reduction in intraepidermal CD3+ and CD8+ T cells, suggesting a primary immunological basis for this widespread disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diphtheria Toxin / pharmacology*
  • Epidermis / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotoxins / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-2 / pharmacology*
  • Keratinocytes / immunology
  • Male
  • Psoriasis / immunology*
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Diphtheria Toxin
  • Immunotoxins
  • Interleukin-2
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • denileukin diftitox