Cytosolic genome DNA fragments as a trigger of keratinocyte proliferation in psoriasis

Grantee: Dr Koichi Suzuki, PhD, Professor, Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Medical Technology, Teikyo University

Amount: DKK 460,000

Grant category: Research grants in open competition

Year: 2016

Geography: Japan

Release of double-stranded (ds)DNA from keratinocytes has been linked to the initiation of psoriasis via induction of an immune response. Furthermore, vitamin D has been reported to interfere with this mechanism. Vitamin D analogues are widely used for treatment of psoriasis and have a well-known effect on keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation.

Dr Koichi Suzuki and his Japanese-Chinese team hypothesise that the release of dsDNA may more directly induce the characteristic hyper-proliferation and abnormal differentiation of keratinocytes seen in psoriasis by a TNFα-mediated inflammatory process in keratinocytes.

The team will investigate this hypothesis and the impact of vitamin D by the use of keratinocyte cultures and psoriasis skin samples from patients treated with a vitamin D analogue.

The project may further enhance our understanding of the complex molecular events underlying psoriasis and how vitamin D treatment may intervene in the pathogenic process, potentially revealing new aspects of the mode of action of vitamin D.