New research focuses on B lymphocytes in psoriasis

July 14, 2016

Researchers at the University of Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, are focusing their psoriasis research on a cell type that has received little attention in connection with the skin disease: B lymphocytes.

Researchers at the University of Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, are focusing their psoriasis research on a cell type that has received little attention in connection with the skin disease: B lymphocytes.

In an animal study published last month in Nature Communications, the researchers showed that these cells are capable of influencing psoriasis by regulating the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10).

The researchers used epicutaneous application of imiquimod cream to induce psoriasis-like skin inflammation in mice. They found that mice depleted of B cells or bearing interleukin (IL)-10-deficient B cells, had a fulminant inflammation when exposed to imiquimod. Ablation of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFATc1) in B cells suppressed imiquimod-induced inflammation.

"It was crucial to find out that synthesis of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 by the B lymphocytes through the interaction with the protein … NFATc1, a transcription factor, was reduced," study author Matthias Goebeler, M.D., professor and director, University Hospital and Outpatient Clinic for Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology Würzburg, said in a press release.

The study suggests there is a close link between NFATc1 and IL-10 expression in B cells, and that NFATc1 (in particular, its inducible short isoform, NFATc1/αA), is a potential treatment target for psoriasis in humans.