Certain dendritic cells have roles in the initiation and progression phases of psoriasis, and results of a study published in EMBO Molecular Medicine suggest targeting these cells may be a way to prevent and treat psoriasis.

Researchers from Austria and Spain investigated the contribution of Langerhans cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells in psoriasis. In patients with psoriatic lesions and in a psoriasis mouse model (DKO* mice), Langerhans cells were severely reduced. In contrast, plasmacytoid dendritic cells were increased.

The depletion of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in DKO* mice prior to psoriasis induction resulted in a milder phenotype, whereas depletion during active disease had no effect, reported the researchers.

Continue Reading

In contrast, the depletion of Langerin-expressing Ag-presenting cells before disease onset resulted in no effect, while depletion from diseased mice aggravated psoriasis symptoms.

“This finding could be therapeutically explored. By supporting and strengthening the local Langerhans cells network, the progression of psoriatic lesions might be prevented,” concluded the study authors.

This is especially important since the currently applied systemic treatments are associated with frequent side effects and are a burden for the health care system.”


  1. Gitzner E. EMBO Molecular Medicine. 2014; 10.15252/emmm.201404114.