Inflammatory skin disease in K5.hTGF-beta1 transgenic mice is not dependent on the IL-23/Th17 inflammatory pathway

Erin L Fitch, Heather L Rizzo, Stephen E Kurtz, Keith W Wegmann, Wei Gao, Jacqueline M Benson, David J Hinrichs, Andrew Blauvelt
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2009, 129 (10): 2443-50
In the presence of IL-6, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 induces differentiation of T helper (Th) 17 cells in mice. Interleukin (IL)-23, a heterodimeric cytokine composed of IL-23p19 and IL-12/23p40 subunits, stimulates the growth and expansion of Th17 cells, and has been implicated in psoriasis pathogenesis. To study the associations between TGF-beta1, the IL-23/Th17 inflammatory pathway, and psoriasis, we investigated inflammatory skin disease in transgenic mice that constitutively overexpress human TGF-beta1 in basal keratinocytes (K5.hTGF-beta1 transgenic mice); these mice had previously been reported as having a psoriasis-like disease. K5.hTGF-beta1 transgenic mice had high levels of TGF-beta1 mRNA and protein in both skin and serum. Levels of cytokines involved in IL-23/Th17-mediated inflammation were not elevated in lesional skin compared with those in non-lesional and wild-type skin. It is noteworthy that IL-4 and IgE were markedly elevated in inflamed skin and serum, respectively, of transgenic mice. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specifically directed against IL-23p19 or IL-12/23p40 had no clinical effect on established inflammatory skin disease in K5.hTGF-beta1 transgenic mice, whereas the same mAbs were able to block the development of murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an IL-23/Th17-mediated disease. In summary, the IL-23/Th17 inflammatory pathway is not responsible for the maintenance of inflammatory skin disease in K5.hTGF-beta1 transgenic mice.

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