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J Clin Invest. 2006 Aug;116(8):2084-7.

Misbehaving macrophages in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

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  • 1Harvard Skin Disease Research Center and Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease unique to humans. In this issue of the JCI, 2 studies of very different mouse models of psoriasis both report that macrophages play a key role in inducing psoriasis-like skin disease. Psoriasis is clearly a polygenic, inherited disease of uncontrolled cutaneous inflammation. The debate that currently rages in the field is whether psoriasis is a disease of autoreactive T cells or whether it reflects an intrinsic defect within the skin--or both. However, these questions have proven difficult to dissect using molecular genetic tools. In the current studies, the authors have used 2 different animal models to address the role of macrophages in disease pathogenesis: Wang et al. use a mouse model in which inflammation is T cell dependent, whereas the model used by Stratis et al. is T cell independent (see the related articles beginning on pages 2105 and 2094, respectively). Strikingly, both groups report an important contribution by macrophages, implying that macrophages can contribute to both epithelial-based and T cell-mediated pathways of inflammation.

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