Involvement of IL-9 in Th17-associated inflammation and angiogenesis of psoriasis

Tej Pratap Singh, Michael P Schön, Katrin Wallbrecht, Alexandra Gruber-Wackernagel, Xiao-Jing Wang, Peter Wolf
PloS One 2013, 8 (1): e51752
It is thought that a Th1/Th17-weighted immune response plays a predominant role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Our findings now indicate a link between IL-9, a Th2 and Th9 cytokine, and Th17 pathway in psoriasis. In K5.hTGF-β1 transgenic mice, exhibiting a psoriasis-like phenotype, we found increased IL-9R and IL-9 expression in the skin and intradermal IL-9 injection induced Th17-related inflammation. IL-9 also promoted angiogenesis and VEGF and CD31 overexpression in mice in vivo and increased tube formation of human endothelial cells in vitro. Injecting anti-IL-9 antibody into K5.hTGF-β1 transgenic mice not only diminished inflammation (including skin infiltration by T cells, monocytes/macrophages, and mast cells) and angiogenesis but also delayed the psoriasis-like skin phenotype. Notably, injection of anti-psoriatic acting anti-IL-17 antibody reduced skin IL-9 mRNA and serum IL-9 protein levels in K5.hTGF-β1 transgenic mice and prevented IL-9-induced epidermal hyperplasia and inflammation of the skin of wild type mice. In addition, we observed that IL-9R expression in lesional skin from psoriasis patients was markedly higher than in healthy skin from control subjects. Moreover, IL-9 significantly enhanced IL-17A production by cultured human peripheral blood mononuclear cells or CD4+ T cells, especially in psoriasis patients. Thus, IL-9 may play a role in the development of psoriatic lesions through Th17-associated inflammation and angiogenesis.

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