Interleukin (IL)-17/IL-36 axis participates to the crosstalk between endothelial cells and keratinocytes during inflammatory skin responses

Laura Mercurio, Cristina M. Failla, Lorena Capriotti, Claudia Scarponi, Francesco Facchiano, Martina Morelli, Stefania Rossi, Gianluca Pagnanelli, Cristina Albanesi, Andrea Cavani, Stefania Madonna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In inflammatory skin conditions, such as psoriasis, vascular enlargement is associated with endothelial cell proliferation, release of cytokines and adhesion molecule expression. Interleukin (IL)-17A is a pro-inflammatory cytokine mainly secreted by T helper-17 cells that is critically involved in psoriasis pathogenesis. IL-36α, IL-36β and IL-36γ are also inflammatory cytokines up-regulated in psoriasis and induced by various stimuli, including IL-17A. In this study, we found that human keratinocytes are the main source of IL-36, in particular of IL-36γ. This cytokine was strongly induced by IL-17A and, together with IL-17A, efficiently activated human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs), which expressed both IL-17 and IL-36 receptors. Both IL-36γ and IL-17A induced cell proliferation through specific molecular cascades involving ERK1/2 only or ERK1/2, STAT3 and NF-κB, respectively. We highlighted the intense IL-17A- and IL-36γ -dependent interplay between keratinocytes and HDMECs, likely active in the psoriatic lesions and leading to the establishment of a cytokine network responsible for the development and maintenance of the inflamed state. IL-17A or IL-36γ showed in HDMECs a synergic activity with TNF-α by potently inducing inflammatory cytokine/chemokine release and ICAM-1 expression. We also investigated the involvement of IL-36γ and VEGF-A, substantially reduced in lesional skin of psoriatic patients pharmacologically treated with the anti-IL-17A antibody Secukinumab. Importantly, keratinocyte-derived IL-36γ represented an additional pro-angiogenic mediator of IL-17A. We observed that keratinocyte-derived VEGF-A influenced proliferation but did not act on expression of adhesion molecules in HDMECs. On the other hand, inhibition of IL-36γ released by IL-17Atreated keratinocytes impaired either proliferation or ICAM-1 expression both in HDMECs and in an in vivo murine model of psoriasis. Taken together, our data demonstrated that IL-17A and IL-36γ are highly involved in endothelial cells/keratinocytes crosstalk in inflammatory skin conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0222969
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Interleukin (IL)-17/IL-36 axis participates to the crosstalk between endothelial cells and keratinocytes during inflammatory skin responses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this