Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible New Cure For Psoriasis

Date:
August 17, 2004
Source:
University Of Bonn
Summary:
Cell biologists of the University of Bonn, in cooperation with the University of Leeds (U.K.) and industry may have discovered a new effective therapy for psoriasis: a specific group of what are known as metalloproteinase inhibitors can normalise the increased tendency of epidermis cells (keratinocytes) to divide, which is the cause of this unpleasant lepidosis.

Christina Siemes and professor Herzog show a model of the epidermis.
Credit: Photo courtesy of University Of Bonn

Cell biologists of the University of Bonn, in cooperation with the University of Leeds (U.K.) and industry may have discovered a new effective therapy for psoriasis: a specific group of what are known as metalloproteinase inhibitors can normalise the increased tendency of epidermis cells (keratinocytes) to divide, which is the cause of this unpleasant lepidosis. The researchers were not able to detect any toxic side-effects, at least not in cell cultures. Their findings are now being published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Vol. 123, No. 3).

About two million Germans suffer from psoriasis (from the Greek psora meaning 'itching, scratching'). In this incurable disease the regeneration of the epidermis is speeded up enormously: whereas it normally renews itself in just under four weeks, this period is cut to four to seven days in psoriasis patients. The reason is the greatly increased rate of cell division of the keratinocytes. They form a layer which separates the epidermis from the dermis, which lies beneath it. The ageing cells pass from this germinal layer to the surface until they finally scale off.

The disease progresses in waves. Its typical features are clearly defined red areas which are covered with silvery white scales. In the Middle Ages they were thought to be the symptoms of leprosy; a large number of the 'lepers' who were persecuted and even burnt were probably suffering from psoriasis, which is not contagious. What is worse than the changes to the skin itself is the stigma attached to the disease: 'During one of the periods when the disease is more intense many patients think that it is unreasonable to expect people to put up with their presence,' the Bonn cytobiologist Professor Volker Herzog explains. 'Some patients withdraw completely; depressions are not infrequent.'

No toxic side-effects

One of the substances which stimulate the division of the keratinocytes is the proteinsAPPá. It is produced during the decomposition of a larger protein, APP. The keratinocytes produce an enzyme which cuts the APP down to size as sAPPá: this is known as the á-secretase. Professor Herzog's research team has now blocked these 'molecular scissors'. 'We knew that certain metalloproteinase inhibitors impede the á-secretase. After adding these substances we observed that the discharge of sAPPá was almost completely arrested in the cells of psoriasis patients. As a result, after adding them the greatly increased division rate of the keratinocytes dropped back to normal values by 50 to 60 per cent,' Christina Siemes, a member of Professor Herzog's team, explains. 'We have been able to confirm this in skin specimens of five psoriasis patients.'

The inhibiting effect of the metalloproteinase inhibitors largely wore off within 72 hours. Moreover, even with fivefold concentration of the active ingredient the research team could not detect any toxic side-effects. For example, among other aspects the number of skin cells which entered into apoptosis remained constant - apoptosis is the cells' 'suicide' programme, which enables them to self-destruct when they are malfunctioning. The cellular protein synthesis was also unaffected.

'Treatment using the metalloproteinase inhibitors which we have been investigating seems to be a new and very promising therapeutic option for psoriasis,' Professor Herzog therefore believes. 'This won't be a magic solution to all our problems, of course - after all, every skin reacts differently.' Furthermore, the substances only alleviate the symptoms. They do not remove the root of the evil, viz. the chronic inflammation of the skin caused by constant attacks by the body's own immune system, to which the keratinocytes react with feverish activity in the cell division field.

The researchers now intend to test their method on animals, using naked mice on which they have transplanted the skin tissue of psoriasis patients. They want to apply the active ingredients locally as an ointment. In addition, the first tests on human beings are planned for the immediate future.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Bonn. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Bonn. "Possible New Cure For Psoriasis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040817081007.htm>.
University Of Bonn. (2004, August 17). Possible New Cure For Psoriasis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040817081007.htm
University Of Bonn. "Possible New Cure For Psoriasis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040817081007.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins