Induction of Alternative Proinflammatory Cytokines Accounts for Sustained Psoriasiform Skin Inflammation in IL-17C+IL-6KO Mice

Yi Fritz, Philip A. Klenotic, William R. Swindell, Zhi Qiang Yin, Sarah G. Groft, Li Zhang, Jaymie Baliwag, Maya I. Camhi, Doina Diaconu, Andrew B. Young, Alexander M. Foster, Andrew Johnston, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Thomas S. McCormick, Nicole L. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


IL-6 inhibition has been unsuccessful in treating psoriasis, despite high levels of tissue and serum IL-6 in patients. In addition, de novo psoriasis onset has been reported after IL-6 blockade in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. To explore mechanisms underlying these clinical observations, we backcrossed an established psoriasiform mouse model (IL-17C+ mice) with IL-6-deficient mice (IL-17C+KO) and examined the cutaneous phenotype. IL-17C+KO mice initially exhibited decreased skin inflammation; however, this decrease was transient and reversed rapidly, concomitant with increases in skin Tnf, Il36α/β/γ, Il24, Epgn, and S100a8/a9 to levels higher than those found in IL-17C+ mice. A comparison of IL-17C+ and IL-17C+KO mouse skin transcriptomes with that of human psoriasis skin revealed significant correlation among transcripts of skin of patients with psoriasis and IL-17C+KO mouse skin, and confirmed an exacerbation of the inflammatory signature in IL-17C+KO mice that aligns closely with human psoriasis. Transcriptional analyses of IL-17C+ and IL-17C+KO primary keratinocytes confirmed increased expression of proinflammatory molecules, suggesting that in the absence of IL-6, keratinocytes increase production of numerous additional proinflammatory cytokines. These preclinical findings may provide insight into why patients with arthritis being treated with IL-6 inhibitors develop new onset psoriasis and why IL-6 blockade for the treatment of psoriasis has not been clinically effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-705
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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