Involvement of TNF-α Converting Enzyme in the Development of Psoriasis-Like Lesions in a Mouse ModelReport as inadecuate

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TNF-α plays a crucial role in psoriasis; therefore, TNF inhibition has become a gold standard for the treatment of psoriasis. TNF-α is processed from a membrane-bound form by TNF-α converting enzyme TACE to soluble form, which exerts a number of biological activities. EGF receptor EGFR ligands, including heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor HB-EGF, amphiregulin and transforming growth factor TGF-α are also TACE substrates and are psoriasis-associated growth factors. Vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF, one of the downstream molecules of EGFR and TNF signaling, plays a key role in angiogenesis for developing psoriasis. In the present study, to assess the possible role of TACE in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, we investigated the involvement of TACE in TPA-induced psoriasis-like lesions in K5.Stat3C mice, which represent a mouse model of psoriasis. In this mouse model, TNF-α, amphiregulin, HB-EGF and TGF-α were significantly up-regulated in the skin lesions, similar to human psoriasis. Treatment of K5.Stat3C mice with TNF-α or EGFR inhibitors attenuated the skin lesions, suggesting the roles of TACE substrates in psoriasis. Furthermore, the skin lesions of K5.Stat3C mice showed down-regulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3, an endogenous inhibitor of TACE, and an increase in soluble TNF-α. A TACE inhibitor abrogated EGFR ligand-dependent keratinocyte proliferation and VEGF production in vitro, suggesting that TACE was involved in both epidermal hyperplasia and angiogenesis during psoriasis development. These results strongly suggest that TACE contributes to the development of psoriatic lesions through releasing two kinds of psoriasis mediators, TNF-α and EGFR ligands. Therefore, TACE could be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of psoriasis.

Author: Kenji Sato, Mikiro Takaishi, Shota Tokuoka, Shigetoshi Sano



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