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Role of increased production of monocytes TNF-α, IL-1 β and IL-6 in psoriasis: relation to focal infection, disease activity and responses to treatments

Author(s): Mizutani H, Ohmoto Y, Mizutani T, Murata M, Shimizu M


To evaluate the immunological function of peripheral blood monocytes (PBMC) in psoriasis, we measured spontaneous production of the inflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6 from the PBMC of psoriasis patients, by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The production of all three inflammatory cytokines by psoriatic PBMC was significantly higher than that by normal control PBMC. PBMC sampled from active psoriasis produced three cytokines significantly higher than samples from inactive psoriasis. In addition, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha production showed a positive relation to clinical severity, but IL-6 did not. TNF-alpha production increased much more than did the others. Therefore, the TNF-alpha to IL-1beta ratio was significantly higher, even in inactive psoriasis, than that of the normal control. In relation to focal infection, psoriatic PBMC sampled 3 h after a tonsillar provocation test increased cytokine production, compared with the level before provocation. The cases which responded to tonsillectomy or systemic methotrexate therapy, but not the non-responding cases, showed a significant decrease in PBMC cytokine productivity. These results strongly suggest that inflammatory cytokines, especially TNF-alpha, from monocytes are involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, and activated monocytes may work as an effective mediator of focal infection in skin lesions.

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