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      Increased Expression of Interleukin 23 p19 and p40 in Lesional Skin of Patients with Psoriasis Vulgaris

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          Psoriasis is a type I–deviated disease characterized by the presence of interferon (IFN)-γ and multiple IFN-related inflammatory genes in lesions. Because interleukin (IL)-23 is now recognized to play a role in the recruitment of inflammatory cells in a T helper cell (Th)1-mediated disease, we examined psoriasis skin lesions for production of this newly described cytokine. IL-23 is composed of two subunits: a unique p19 subunit and a p40 subunit shared with IL-12. We found a reliable increase in p19 mRNA by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in lesional skin compared with nonlesional skin (22.3-fold increase; P = 0.001). The p40 subunit, shared by IL-12 and IL-23, increased by 11.6-fold compared with nonlesional skin (P = 0.003), but the IL-12 p35 subunit was not increased in lesional skin. IL-23 was expressed mainly by dermal cells and increased p40 immunoreactivity was visualized in large dermal cells in the lesions. Cell isolation experiments from psoriatic tissue showed strong expression of p19 mRNA in cells expressing monocyte (CD14 + CD11c + CD83 ) and mature dendritic cell (DC) markers (CD14 CD11c + CD83 +), whereas in culture, the mRNAs for p40 and p19 were strongly up-regulated in stimulated monocytes and monocyte-derived DCs, persisting in the latter for much longer periods than IL-12. Our data suggest that IL-23 is playing a more dominant role than IL-12 in psoriasis, a Th1 type of human inflammatory disease.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Interleukin-23 rather than interleukin-12 is the critical cytokine for autoimmune inflammation of the brain.

          Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a heterodimeric molecule composed of p35 and p40 subunits. Analyses in vitro have defined IL-12 as an important factor for the differentiation of naive T cells into T-helper type 1 CD4+ lymphocytes secreting interferon-gamma (refs 1, 2). Similarly, numerous studies have concluded that IL-12 is essential for T-cell-dependent immune and inflammatory responses in vivo, primarily through the use of IL-12 p40 gene-targeted mice and neutralizing antibodies against p40. The cytokine IL-23, which comprises the p40 subunit of IL-12 but a different p19 subunit, is produced predominantly by macrophages and dendritic cells, and shows activity on memory T cells. Evidence from studies of IL-23 receptor expression and IL-23 overexpression in transgenic mice suggest, however, that IL-23 may also affect macrophage function directly. Here we show, by using gene-targeted mice lacking only IL-23 and cytokine replacement studies, that the perceived central role for IL-12 in autoimmune inflammation, specifically in the brain, has been misinterpreted and that IL-23, and not IL-12, is the critical factor in this response. In addition, we show that IL-23, unlike IL-12, acts more broadly as an end-stage effector cytokine through direct actions on macrophages.
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            A receptor for the heterodimeric cytokine IL-23 is composed of IL-12Rbeta1 and a novel cytokine receptor subunit, IL-23R.

            IL-23 is a heterodimeric cytokine composed of the IL-12p40 "soluble receptor" subunit and a novel cytokine-like subunit related to IL-12p35, termed p19. Human and mouse IL-23 exhibit some activities similar to IL-12, but differ in their capacities to stimulate particular populations of memory T cells. Like IL-12, IL-23 binds to the IL-12R subunit IL-12Rbeta1. However, it does not use IL-12Rbeta2. In this study, we identify a novel member of the hemopoietin receptor family as a subunit of the receptor for IL-23, "IL-23R." IL-23R pairs with IL-12Rbeta1 to confer IL-23 responsiveness on cells expressing both subunits. Human IL-23, but not IL-12, exhibits detectable affinity for human IL-23R. Anti-IL-12Rbeta1 and anti-IL-23R Abs block IL-23 responses of an NK cell line and Ba/F3 cells expressing the two receptor chains. IL-23 activates the same Jak-stat signaling molecules as IL-12: Jak2, Tyk2, and stat1, -3, -4, and -5, but stat4 activation is substantially weaker and different DNA-binding stat complexes form in response to IL-23 compared with IL-12. IL-23R associates constitutively with Jak2 and in a ligand-dependent manner with stat3. The ability of cells to respond to IL-23 or IL-12 correlates with expression of IL-23R or IL-12Rbeta2, respectively. The human IL-23R gene is on human chromosome 1 within 150 kb of IL-12Rbeta2.
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              Novel mechanisms of T-cell and dendritic cell activation revealed by profiling of psoriasis on the 63,100-element oligonucleotide array.

              A global picture of gene expression in the common immune-mediated skin disease, psoriasis, was obtained by interrogating the full set of Affymetrix GeneChips with psoriatic and control skin samples. We identified 1,338 genes with potential roles in psoriasis pathogenesis/maintenance and revealed many perturbed biological processes. A novel method for identifying transcription factor binding sites was also developed and applied to this dataset. Many of the identified sites are known to be involved in immune response and proliferation. An in-depth study of immune system genes revealed the presence of many regulating cytokines and chemokines within involved skin, and markers of dendritic cell (DC) activation in uninvolved skin. The combination of many CCR7+ T cells, DCs, and regulating chemokines in psoriatic lesions, together with the detection of DC activation markers in nonlesional skin, strongly suggests that the spatial organization of T cells and DCs could sustain chronic T-cell activation and persistence within focal skin regions.

                Author and article information

                J Exp Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                5 January 2004
                : 199
                : 1
                : 125-130
                [1 ]Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021
                [2 ]Laboratory for Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021
                [3 ]Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Clinical Research-Pharmacogenomics, Cambridge, MA 02139
                [4 ]Wyeth, Andover, MA 01810
                Author notes

                Address correspondence to Edmund Lee or James G. Krueger, Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology, The Rockefeller University Hospital, P.O. Box 178, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021. Phone: (212) 327-7017; Fax: (212) 327-8232; email: leee@ 123456rockefeller.edu

                Copyright © 2004, The Rockefeller University Press


                th1 cells, gene expression, il-23, dendritic cell, cytokines


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