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ABSTRACT: Response pathways of the metabolic and the immune system have been evolutionary conserved, resulting in a high degree of integrated regulation. Insulin is a central player in the metabolic system and potentially also in the homeostasis of the skin. Psoriasis is a frequent and often severe autoimmune skin disease, clinically characterized by altered epidermal homeostasis, of which the molecular pathomechanisms are only little understood. In this study, we have examined a potential role for insulin signaling in the pathogenesis of this disease. We show that IL-1β is present in high quantities in tissue fluid collected via microdialysis from patients with psoriasis; these levels are reduced under successful anti-psoriatic therapy. Our results suggest that IL-1β contributes to the disease by dual effects. First, it induces insulin resistance through p38MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase), which blocks insulin-dependent differentiation of keratinocytes, and at the same time IL-1β drives proliferation of keratinocytes, both being hallmarks of psoriasis. Taken together, our findings point toward insulin resistance as a contributing mechanism to the development of psoriasis; this not only drives cardiovascular comorbidities, but also its cutaneous phenotype. Key cytokines inducing insulin resistance in keratinocytes and kinases mediating their effects may represent attractive targets for novel anti-psoriatic therapies.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 04/2012; 132(9):2206-14. · 6.19 Impact Factor