Researchers call Th17 immune cells primary regulators of psoriasis

March 4, 2008

New York - Researchers at Rockefeller University here say that Th17, a recently discovered immune cell, may play a key role in psoriasis - and that it occurs in psoriasis patients in significantly higher concentrations than it does in healthy people, news source PhysOrg.com reports.

New York - Researchers at Rockefeller University here say that Th17, a recently discovered immune cell, may play a key role in psoriasis - and that it occurs in psoriasis patients in significantly higher concentrations than it does in healthy people, news source PhysOrg.com reports.

In the study, researchers compared skin and blood from healthy individuals with samples from psoriasis patients. After culturing the samples and examining the T helper immune cells, investigators found that healthy subjects had a very small number of Th17 cells in their blood and even fewer in their skin.

The psoriasis patients, on the other hand, had as much as three times the number of Th17 cells in their skin - though the number of the cells in their blood was comparable to that of healthy subjects.

The researchers postulate that these cells are producing cytokines that may be affecting a wide range of immune functions.

The study concludes that Th17 cells may be a primary regulator of psoriasis inflammation and, therefore, could be a viable target for future drug research.

Results were reported in the Jan. 17 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.