International Psoriasis Council leads collaborative initiative to better define the pathogenic mechanisms that constitute psoriasis

Friday, September 13, 2013 – St Louis, Mo. International Psoriasis Council (IPC) today announced the publication of the proceedings of a meeting focused on better defining the mechanistic basis for psoriasis immunopathogenesis that appeared online in the British Journal of Dermatology (British Journal of Dermatology (2013) 169, pp283–286).

Workshop co-chair and IPC board member, Professor Hervé Bachelez (Inflammatory Skin Disease Unit, Saint-Louis Hospital, Paris, France) said, “There has been independent progress toward understanding the inherited basis of psoriasis and in defining the functional characteristics of various disease subtypes. This workshop has integrated the findings at the genetic, protein and clinical levels, and helped to define new research avenues and novel therapeutic strategies." 

The IPC workshop was held in September 2012 at the 42nd Annual European Society for Dermatological Research in Venice, Italy. The presentations addressed key insights into the translation of genotype to phenotype in psoriasis, and were delivered by Hervé Bachelez (Paris, France), Antonio Costanzo (Rome, Italy), Michelle Lowes (New York, USA) and Frank Nestle (London, UK). In addition, a global expert panel was convened to foster dialogue and identify opportunities for progress in psoriasis management. The panel consisted of Kevin Cooper (Cleveland, USA), Michel Gilliet (Lausanne, Switzerland), Joerg Prinz (Munich, Germany), Martin Rocken (Tubingen, Germany), Jens Schroeder (Kiel, Germany), Manuelle Viguier (Paris, France), Mayte Suarez-Farinas (New York, USA) and Cristina Zielinski (Berlin, Germany). 

Collectively, the presentations and debate acknowledged the significant advances in understanding psoriasis immune regulation that have occurred over the past decade by virtue of the study of psoriasis subtypes, phenotypic manifestations and genetic associations. Key findings included the following:

  • IL-36 is a key player in the innate immune dysfunction in all forms of psoriasis, and IL-36-mediated cross-talk with keratinocytes and dermal mesenchymal cells may play a role as a master regulator for the pathological IL-23/IL-17/IL-22 axis and the subsequent clinical phenotype of psoriasis. Thus, IL-36 may be an appealing therapeutic target.

  • IL-23 receptor gene polymorphisms (e.g., R381Q) protect against psoriasis by reducing IL-17 production from Th17 cells. These findings indicate the impact of genetic variations in the onset of disease in such a multigenic complex model. Knowledge on the antigen specificity of Th17 cells in their local psoriatic skin milieu is a key need that will help to explain the tissue segregation and inflammatory phenotype in other diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or arthritis

  • Gene expression profiles were found to be different in responders and non-responders to therapy. This molecular definition of psoriasis can be utilized to understand and evaluate clinical response to therapy. Evolution towards better integrating strategies that combine studies at the level of DNA, RNA, and protein also incorporating the presence of co-morbidities will facilitate a relevant molecular classification of psoriasis that is of prognostic and therapeutic value.

Workshop co-chair, Professor Frank Nestle (St. John’s Institute of Dermatology, King’s College London and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK) said, “Connecting the pathogenic and genetic basis of psoriasis promises to complete our understanding of disease mechanisms, which will in turn lead to predictors of treatment response and novel drug development strategies for individual patients.”

IPC plans to further share learning and foster superior clinical outcomes by building a bridge between genotype and phenotype, convening leading groups around the world to collaborate.Peter van de Kerkhof (Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands), President of IPC, added, “IPC continues to implement its strategy to foster collaboration across disparate groups with a view to enhancing the psoriasis research agenda.”

About the International Psoriasis Council
Founded in 2004, the International Psoriasis Council (IPC) is a dermatology led, global nonprofit organization dedicated to innovation across the full spectrum of psoriasis through research, education and care. Our vision is to improve scientific knowledge and bring the best care to all psoriasis patients.

About Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic, genetically determined, inflammatory systemic disease that affects approximately 1 – 2% of the population worldwide. The disease manifests most notably as characteristic skin lesions distinguished by red, scaly plaques. But psoriasis is also associated with a variety of life-threatening co-morbidities and results in profound impairment of quality of life and social well-being of those it afflicts.

Contact: Christy Langan, CEO
International Psoriasis Council

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