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Exp Dermatol. 2004 Dec;13(12):764-72.

Clinical improvement in chronic plaque-type psoriasis lesions after narrow-band UVB therapy is accompanied by a decrease in the expression of IFN-gamma inducers -- IL-12, IL-18 and IL-23.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Type-1 cytokine-producing T cells are important in the pathogenesis of psoriasis vulgaris, for which efficient therapy is provided by means of narrow-band ultraviolet-B (NB-UVB). The expression of the type-1 cytokine interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is regulated by interleukin-12 (IL-12), IL-15, IL-18 and IL-23; however, not much is known about the effect of this therapy on the levels of these cytokines in lesional psoriatic skin in situ. In this study, we investigated the effects of NB-UVB therapy on the expression of IFN-gamma-inducing cytokines. Ten patients with chronic plaque-type psoriasis selected to be treated with NB-UVB therapy were recruited for these experiments and the expression of cytokines IL-12, IL-15, IL-18, IL-23 and IFN-gamma in lesional psoriatic skin before, during and after therapy was determined with the help of immunohistochemistry. Double staining was performed in order to determine the cell types expressing these cytokines. The decrease in the psoriasis area and severity index was accompanied by a significant decrease in the expression of IFN-gamma, and concomitantly, significant reduction of IFN-gamma inducers -- IL-12, IL-18 and IL-23. Thus, we concluded that the decrease of IFN-gamma expression in psoriasis lesions after NB-UVB therapy could be a result of diminished expression of IL-12, IL-18 and IL-23 in lesional skin. Therapies targeting these three cytokines should, therefore, be considered in the treatment of psoriasis.

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