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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Jan 2020 - 24 Jan 2020


2020 04

Exp Dermatol



Role of Neuroimmune Circuits and Pruritus in Psoriasis.


Ayasse MT, Buddenkotte J, Alam M, Steinhoff M
Exp Dermatol. 2020 04; 29(4):414-426.
PMID: 31954075.


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease presenting with an array of clinical phenotypes, often associated with pruritus. Environmental and psychological stressors can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms and provoke flares. Recent studies suggest a dysfunctional hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in some patients with psoriasis that can result in immune dysregulation. The immune system, in turn, can communicate with the nervous system to induce, maintain or aggravate psoriasis. In the skin, peripheral sensory as well as autonomic nerves control release of inflammatory mediators from dendritic cells, mast cells, T cells or keratinocytes, thereby modulating inflammatory responses and, in case of sensory nerves, pruritus. In response to the environment or stress, cytokines, chemokines, proteases, and neuropeptides fluctuate in psoriasis and influence immune responses as well as nerve activity. Furthermore, immune cells communicate with sensory nerves which control release of cytokines such as IL-23, that are ultimately involved in psoriasis pathogenesis. Nerves also communicate with keratinocytes to induce epidermal proliferation. Notably, in contrast to recent years the debilitating problem of pruritus in psoriasis has been increasingly appreciated. Thus, investigating neuroimmune communication in psoriasis will not only expand our knowledge about the impact of sensory nerves in inflammation and pruritus and give new insights into the impact of environmental factors activating neuroimmune circuits or of stress in psoriasis, but may also lead to novel therapies. This review summarizes the relevant literature on the role of neuroimmune circuits, stress and how the central HPA axis and its peripheral equivalent in the skin, impact psoriasis.