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J Invest Dermatol. 2008 May;128(5):1207-11. doi: 10.1038/sj.jid.5701213. Epub 2008 Jan 17.

Psoriasis vulgaris lesions contain discrete populations of Th1 and Th17 T cells.

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Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The importance of T helper 17 (Th17) cells in inflammation and autoimmunity is now being appreciated. We analyzed psoriasis skin lesions and peripheral blood for the presence of IL-17-producing T cells. We localized Th17 cells predominantly to the dermis of psoriasis skin lesions, confirmed that IL-17 mRNA increased with disease activity, and demonstrated that IL-17 mRNA expression normalized with cyclosporine therapy. IL-22 mRNA expression mirrored IL-17 and both were downregulated in parallel with keratin 16. Th17 cells are a discrete population, separate from Th1 cells (which are also in psoriasis lesions), and Th2 cells. Our findings suggest that psoriasis is a mixed Th1 and Th17 inflammatory environment. Th17 cells may be proximal regulators of psoriatic skin inflammation, and warrant further attention as therapeutic targets.

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