Psoriasis is characterized by accumulation of immunostimulatory and Th1/Th17 cell-polarizing myeloid dendritic cells.

Lisa C. Zaba, Judilyn Fuentes-Duculan, Narat John Eungdamrong, Maria Veronica Abello, Inna Novitskaya, Katherine C. Pierson, Juana Gonzalez, James G. Krueger, Michelle A. Lowes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

374 Scopus citations


Myeloid dermal dendritic cells (DCs) accumulate in chronically inflamed tissues such as psoriasis. The importance of these cells for psoriasis pathogenesis is suggested by comparative T-cell and DC-cell counts, where DCs outnumber T cells. We have previously identified CD11c(+)-blood dendritic cell antigen (BDCA)-1(+) cells as the main resident dermal DC population found in normal skin. We now show that psoriatic lesional skin has two populations of dermal DCs: (1) CD11c(+)BDCA-1(+) cells, which are phenotypically similar to those contained in normal skin and (2) CD11c(+)BDCA-1(-) cells, which are phenotypically immature and produce inflammatory cytokines. Although BDCA-1(+) DCs are not increased in number in psoriatic lesional skin compared with normal skin, BDCA-1(-) DCs are increased 30-fold. For functional studies, we FACS-sorted psoriatic dermal single-cell suspensions to isolate these two cutaneous DC populations, and cultured them as stimulators in an allogeneic mixed leukocyte reaction. Both BDCA-1(+) and BDCA-1(-) myeloid dermal DC populations induced T-cell proliferation, and polarized T cells to become T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 17 (Th17) cells. In addition, psoriatic dermal DCs induced a population of activated T cells that simultaneously produced IL-17 and IFN-gamma, which was not induced by normal skin dermal DCs. As psoriasis is believed to be a mixed Th17/Th1 disease, it is possible that induction of these IL-17(+)IFN-gamma(+) cells is pathogenic. These cytokines, the T cells that produce them, and the inducing inflammatory DCs may all be important new therapeutic targets in psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of investigative dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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