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J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Jul;133(7):1777-84. doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.57. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

A Toll-like receptor 7, 8, and 9 antagonist inhibits Th1 and Th17 responses and inflammasome activation in a model of IL-23-induced psoriasis.

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Idera Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that involves the induction of T-helper 1 (Th1) and T-helper 17 (Th17) cell responses and the aberrant expression of proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β. Copious evidence suggests that abnormal activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) contributes to the initiation and maintenance of psoriasis. We have evaluated an antagonist of TLR7, 8, and 9 as a therapeutic agent in an IL-23-induced psoriasis model in mice. Psoriasis-like skin lesions were induced in C57BL/6 mice by intradermal injection of IL-23 in the ear or dorsum. IL-23-induced increase in ear thickness was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by treatment with antagonist. Histological examination of ear and dorsal skin tissues demonstrated a reduction in epidermal hyperplasia in mice treated with the antagonist. Treatment with antagonist also reduced the induction of Th1 and Th17 cytokines in skin and/or serum, as well as dermal expression of inflammasome components, NLRP3 and AIM2, and antimicrobial peptides. These results indicate that targeting TLR7, 8, and 9 may provide a way to neutralize multiple inflammatory pathways that are involved in the development of psoriasis. The antagonist has the potential for the treatment of psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases.

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