Despite the evidence that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors block TNF and the downstream inflammatory cascade, their primary mechanism of action in inhibiting the self-sustaining pathogenic cycle in psoriasis is not completely understood. This study has the aim to identify early critical events for the resolution of inflammation in skin lesions using anti-TNF therapy. We used a translational approach that correlates gene expression fold change in lesional skin with the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score decrease induced by TNF blockade after 4 weeks of treatment. Data were validated by immunofluorescence microscopy on skin biopsy specimens. We found that the anti-TNF-modulated genes that mostly associated with the clinical amelioration were Ccr7, its ligand, Ccl19, and dendritic cell maturation genes. Decreased expression of T-cell activation genes and Vegf also associated with the clinical response. More important, the down-regulation of Ccr7 observed at 4 weeks significantly correlated with the clinical remission occurring at later time points. Immunofluorescence microscopy on skin biopsy specimens showed that reduction of CCR7+ cells and chemokine ligand (CCL) 19 was paralleled by disaggregation of the dermal lymphoid-like tissue. These data show that an early critical event for the clinical remission of psoriasis in response to TNF inhibitors is the inhibition of the CCR7/CCL19 axis and support its role in psoriasis pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine