Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stimulating a protein in skin cells could improve psoriasis symptoms

Date:
June 5, 2014
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Environmental contaminants can trigger psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders, and it is thought that a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which senses environmental toxins, could play a role. A new study shows that the severity of inflammation associated with psoriasis is unexpectedly suppressed by AhR. The findings suggest that stimulation of AhR could improve symptoms and may represent a novel strategy for treating chronic inflammatory skin disorders.

Psoriasis is a common, long-lasting disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. Environmental contaminants can trigger psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders, and it is thought that a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which senses environmental toxins, could play a role. A study published by Cell Press on June 5 in the journal Immunity shows that the severity of inflammation associated with psoriasis is unexpectedly suppressed by AhR. The findings suggest that stimulation of AhR could improve symptoms and may represent a novel strategy for treating chronic inflammatory skin disorders.

Although many genetic factors underlying psoriasis have been identified, environmental factors such as components of tobacco smoke could also contribute to the disease. Because AhR is prevalent in skin cells and is known to respond to environmental contaminants such as dioxin, Stockinger suspected that this receptor could play an important role in psoriasis.

"Currently, the focus for therapeutic intervention in psoriasis is on modulating the activity of immune cells," says senior study author Brigitta Stockinger of MRC National Institute for Medical Research. "However, our study suggests that molecules found in skin cells also play an important role in the disease."

In the new study, Stockinger and her team found that triggering of AhR in skin cells with a compound derived from a chemical reaction to UV light exposure reduced inflammation in skin biopsies from psoriasis patients, whereas preventing activation of the AhR protein increased inflammation. Although psoriasis is a disease with a strong immune reaction, Stockinger and colleagues found that AhR in skin cells, but not immune cells, is important in responding to the trigger to dampen inflammation.

"Because available treatments for psoriasis are not always effective, it might be particularly useful to explore combination therapy with drugs directly targeting the immune system together with different ways of stimulating the AhR pathway," Stockinger says. "The focus of our ongoing studies will be to test whether this combination approach might give added improvement to current therapies."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Paola Di Meglio, João H. Duarte, Helena Ahlfors, Nick D.L. Owens, Ying Li, Federica Villanova, Isabella Tosi, Keiji Hirota, Frank O. Nestle, Ulrich Mrowietz, Michael J. Gilchrist, Brigitta Stockinger. Activation of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Dampens the Severity of Inflammatory Skin Conditions. Immunity, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.04.019

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Stimulating a protein in skin cells could improve psoriasis symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605141451.htm>.
Cell Press. (2014, June 5). Stimulating a protein in skin cells could improve psoriasis symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605141451.htm
Cell Press. "Stimulating a protein in skin cells could improve psoriasis symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605141451.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 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
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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