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T cells in psoriatic lesional skin that survive conventional therapy with NB-UVB radiation display reduced IFN-γ expression

Abstract

The type 1 T cell-derived cytokine interferon γ (IFN-γ) is overexpressed in psoriatic lesional skin. Recently, we have shown that a single high erythemal dose of broad-band ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation reduces type 1 and favors type 2, i.e. interleukin-4 (IL-4), cytokine expression in normal and psoriatic skin. In this study, we wanted to see whether conventional narrow-band UVB (NB-UVB) therapy (i.e. repeated exposure to nonerythemal doses) also affects type 1/type 2 cytokine expression of T cells present in chronic plaque type psoriatic lesions. Staining of cryostat sections showed decreased expression of both IFN-γ and IL-4 in situ after NB-UVB therapy. CD4+ dermal T cell lines, derived from psoriatic lesional skin, displayed significantly decreased intracellular IFN-γ expression during and after NB-UVB therapy as compared to pretreatment values. Intracellular IL-4 expression was increased in most patients after therapy. Analysis of the supernatants of these stimulated dermal T cells revealed that IFN-γ production decreased significantly following NB-UVB therapy, whereas IL-4 expression increased in the T cell supernatants from most patients, confirming the intracellular determinations. In addition, IL-10 and transforming growth factor-β levels in the supernatants appeared to be increased in the majority of patients following UVB therapy. Apart from the well-known killing effect of UVB on T cells, our results show that the improvement in psoriatic skin following NB-UVB therapy is also due to a reduced capacity of the surviving dermal T cells to express the proinflammatory cytokine IFN-γ.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the staff of the Phototherapy Unit of the Department of Dermatology of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam for their help in the follow-up of patients, and Daisy Picavet for technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Gamze Piskin.

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Piskin, G., Sylva-Steenland, R.M.R., Bos, J.D. et al. T cells in psoriatic lesional skin that survive conventional therapy with NB-UVB radiation display reduced IFN-γ expression. Arch Dermatol Res 295, 509–516 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-004-0460-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-004-0460-9

Keywords

  • Cytokine
  • Th1
  • Th2
  • Immunosuppression
  • IL-4
  • Phototherapy