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Cytokines and anticytokines in psoriasis.

BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune hyperproliferative skin disease of varying severity affecting approximately 2-3% of the general population in the USA and Europe. Although the pathogenesis of psoriasis has not been fully elucidated, an immunologic-genetic relationship is likely. Cutaneous and systemic overexpression of various proinflammatory cytokines (TNF, interleukins, interferon-gamma) has been demonstrated in psoriatic patients.

METHODS: We reviewed the current database literature and summarized the involvement of cytokines and their receptors in the pathogenesis and treatment of psoriasis.

RESULTS: Although many cytokine/anti-cytokine therapies have been conducted, TNF antagonists in the treatment of both psoriasis arthropatica and vulgaris appear to be the most widely used clinically. Interestingly, the efficacy and tolerability of some cytokines (rhIL-11 or ABX-IL-8,) were found to be much lower than expected.

CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results obtained with cytokine and anti-cytokine therapies appear promising and as such continued research is clearly indicated.

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