Clinical research
Interleukin-18 expression and the response to treatment in patients with psoriasis
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Online publication date: 2011-09-02
Arch Med Sci 2011;7(4):713–719
Introduction: The aim of the study was to demonstrate interleukin-18 (IL-18) expression in keratinocytes from psoriatic lesions in comparison to keratinocytes from uninvolved skin and to study the change of expression after therapeutic interventions.
Material and methods: This study included 16 patients of different clinical subtypes of psoriasis. Interleukin-18 gene expression analysis was performed using real time quantitative PCR. Three biopsies were obtained from each patient. Two were taken from the lesional psoriatic skin and from uninvolved skin before starting treatment. A third lesional skin biopsy was taken at the end of 2 months of treatment. The treatment was in the form of topical steroids or oral systemic methotrexate.
Results: Of all 16 studied patients, significantly increased IL-18 expression was noted in keratinocytes from psoriatic lesions before and after treatment when compared to keratinocytes from uninvolved skin (p = 0.001 and p = 0.002 respectively). The IL-18 expression in the skin lesions after treatment was significantly lower than lesional skin before treatment (p = 0.023). In psoriatic skin lesions of all studied patients IL-18 expression was significantly correlated with disease duration (r = 0.40 and p = 0.01) and clinical severity of psoriasis (r = 0.72 and p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Increased IL-18 expression in keratinocytes from psoriatic lesions of our patients and its correlation with disease duration and severity supported the concept of psoriasis as a T cell mediated autoimmune disease. This could establish therapeutic and preventive approaches for psoriasis that ultimately lead to improved outcomes for patients.