Photo quiz. Fibrous histiocytoma [Case Report]
Clinical clearing of psoriasis by 6-thioguanine correlates with cutaneous T-cell depletion via apoptosis: evidence for selective effects on activated T lymphocytes
BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is a common and persistent disease characterized chiefly by marked epidermal and endothelial cell proliferation and inflammation. These changes are likely a result of activated T lymphocytes infiltrating skin tissue or, in the case of psoriatic arthritis, the joints. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that the antimetabolite 6-thioguanine (Sigma-Aldrich, St Louis, Mo) might be an effective treatment for psoriasis vulgaris because of its antilymphocytic effects. METHODS: Twenty patients with moderate to severe plaque-type psoriasis were treated with 6-thioguanine for 6 months. The clinical disease was assessed by the psoriasis severity index. Biopsy specimens obtained from lesional skin before treatment and after 1 and 2 months of treatment were examined for disease-related abnormalities using histochemical and computer-assisted image analysis. Antiproliferative effects of 6-thioguanine were compared in human keratinocytes and mitogen-activated lymphocytes over a range of drug concentrations, while viability, cell-cycle, and DNA fragmentation analysis were done using flow cytometry-based assays. RESULTS: After 6 months of treatment, disease severity in 18 of 20 patients showed a significant response to 6-thioguanine: 12 patients were completely cleared of trace disease; 6 showed marked clinical improvement; and 2 did not respond. Patients showed reductions in peripheral blood lymphocytes and total leukocytes, but therapeutic response correlated best with cutaneous T-cell depletion. In vitro assays established that 6-thioguanine has major cytotoxic effects (apparently S-phase specific) on activated T lymphocytes via the induction of apoptosis. Keratinocytes and unactivated T cells, on the other hand, were largely unaffected by incubation with 6-thioguanine. CONCLUSIONS: 6-Thioguanine is effective for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque-type psoriasis, and may be safe when given for defined periods and with careful hematologic monitoring. The mechanism of action of this drug seems to be the induction of apoptosis in activated T lymphocytes
Suberythemogenic narrow-band UVB is markedly more effective than conventional UVB in treatment of psoriasis vulgaris
BACKGROUND: Narrow-band UVB (NB-UVB) is a new phototherapy option for psoriasis. Action spectrum studies previously done with different UVB wavelengths suggest that suberythemogenic doses of NB-UVB could be highly effective in treating psoriasis vulgaris. Even so, no comparative studies with suberythemogenic doses of NB versus conventional UVB have been performed previously. OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to compare conventional broad-band UVB (BB-UVB) with NB-UVB at suberythemogenic doses for the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris. METHODS: Eleven patients were treated using a split-body approach for 6 weeks on a three-times-a-week basis. Outcomes were evaluated by means of Psoriasis Severity Index scores and quantitative histologic measures. RESULTS: We were able to induce clinical clearing in 81.8% of patients after NB-UVB, but in only 9.1% of patients after BB-UVB (P < .01). Biopsy specimens obtained at the end of treatment revealed that keratin 16 staining was absent in 75% of patients on the NB side compared with none on the BB side, suggesting a reversal of regenerative epidermal hyperplasia by NB-UVB. CONCLUSION: NB-UVB is superior to UVB-BB in reversing psoriasis at suberythemogenic doses when given three times per week. This schedule was well tolerated by all patients.
312-nanometer ultraviolet B light (narrow-band UVB) induces apoptosis of T cells within psoriatic lesions
Narrow-band (312 nm) ultraviolet B light (UVB) is a new form of therapy for psoriasis, but its mechanism of action is unknown. In a bilateral comparison clinical study, daily exposure of psoriatic plaques to broad-band UVB (290-320 nm) or 312-nm UVB depleted T cells from the epidermis and dermis of psoriatic lesions. However, 312-nm UVB was significantly more depleting in both tissue compartments. To characterize the mechanism of T cell depletion, assays for T cell apoptosis were performed on T cells derived from UVB-irradiated skin in vivo and on T cells irradiated in vitro with 312-nm UVB. Apoptosis was induced in T cells exposed to 50-100 mJ/cm2 of 312-nm UVB in vitro, as measured by increased binding of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-Annexin V to CD3(+) cells and by characteristic cell size/granularity changes measured by cytometry. In vivo exposure of psoriatic skin lesions to 312-nm UVB for 1-2 wk also induced apoptosis in T cells as assessed by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) reaction in tissue sections, by binding of FITC-Annexin V to CD3(+) T cells contained in epidermal cell suspensions, and by detection of apoptosis-related size shifts of CD3(+) cells. Induction of T cell apoptosis could be the main mechanism by which 312-nm UVB resolves psoriasis skin lesions.
PUVA-induced lymphocyte apoptosis: mechanism of action in psoriasis
Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA), utilizing oral 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), is a widely utilized and effective treatment for psoriasis vulgaris. Previous studies have suggested that PUVA's mechanism of action in psoriasis is a result of its direct lymphotoxic effects. Trimethylpsoralen (TMP), a potentially safer compound, has been found to be effective in psoriasis during bath water delivery. In this study we examined the relative antilymphocytic effects of TMP and 8-MOP through both flow cytometry and tissue analysis on lesional skin during clinical treatment. Based on FACS analysis on phytohemagglutinin-activated lymphocytes, we found TMP to be nearly 10,000 fold more lymphotoxic compared to 8-MOP. In addition, lymphocytes treated with 8-MOP or TMP with UVA displayed DNA degradation patterns typical of apoptotic cell death. These findings were consistent with our investigation of treated psoriatic skin, with virtual elimination of epidermal CD3+ T-cells following bath water treatment with TMP or 8-MOP. These results support the theory that the therapeutic effects of PUVA stem from its toxic effects on activated lymphocytes. If further investigation supports TMP's lack of carcinogenicity, this potent lymphotoxic treatment may prove to be one of the safest and most effective treatments for psoriasis.
Trimethylpsoralen bath PUVA is a remittive treatment for psoriasis vulgaris. Evidence that epidermal immunocytes are direct therapeutic targets
BACKGROUND: Psoriasis vulgaris can be effectively treated with trimethylpsoralen (TMP) bath PUVA therapy (psoralen plus UVA), but no data exist on the extent to which psoriatic pathology is affected by this treatment, or on its cellular mechanism of action. OBSERVATIONS: Eleven patients with recalcitrant psoriasis vulgaris were treated with TMP bath PUVA therapy and observed through clinical and histological measures. Clinical resolution of psoriasis was achieved in 10 of 11 patients. Histopathological resolution of epidermal hyperplasia (marked by keratin 16 expression) was achieved in 90% of individuals treated with TMP bath PUVA. Epidermal acanthosis was reduced by 40% at 2 weeks and 66% by the end of treatment. Epidermal improvement correlated best with reduction in intraepidermal T lymphocytes, which were reduced by 76% at 2 weeks of treatment and 93% at the end of treatment. Furthermore following TMP bath PUVA therapy, the numbers of epidermal CD1a+ Langerhans cells were markedly reduced, and CD86+ cells were eliminated. Through in vitro assays, TMP was found to be about 10,000-fold more active as a lymphotoxic agent compared with 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP). Additionally, at physiologic concentrations, lymphocytes were killed more readily by TMP PUVA (TMP plus UVA) than were keratinocytes. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with TMP bath PUVA was effective in treating moderate to severe psoriasis, even in darker pigmented individuals. It is likely that this treatment ameliorates psoriasis through direct effects on activated leukocytes in lesional skin.
Intraepidermal lymphocytes in psoriatic lesions are activated GMP-17(TIA-1)+CD8+CD3+ CTLs as determined by phenotypic analysis
The onset and persistence of psoriatic lesions are linked to the presence of an inflammatory infiltrate of CD3+ lymphocytes that includes CD4+ and CD8+ subsets. Since a primary susceptibility factor for psoriasis is the Class I HLA-Cw6 molecule, we set out to learn more about the features of the epidermal CD8+ lymphocytes. The markers tested were GMP-17, a cytotoxic granule protein found in activated cytotoxic lymphocytes (CTLs), and the alpha chain of the IL-2 receptor (CD25), a plasma membrane molecule found on activated T cells. Lymphocytes in lesional skin expressed the GMP-17 protein, whereas lymphocytes in non-lesional skin, resolving lesional skin and normal skin had little or no GMP-17. By flow cytometry analysis, lesional epidermal GMP-17+ cells were CD8+CD3+, with a subpopulation expressing the activation marker CD25+. Due to the abundance of activated GMP-17+CD8+CD3+ lymphocytes (the phenotype of activated cytotoxic cells) in psoriatic lesions compared to non-lesional and normal skin, we hypothesize that they are contributing directly to the psoriatic phenotype.
Sunlight-induced basal cell carcinoma tumor cells and ultraviolet-B-irradiated psoriatic plaques express Fas ligand (CD95L)
The skin is constantly exposed to sunlight and frequently develops sun-induced skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC). These epidermal-derived tumors escape local immune surveillance and infiltrate the dermis, requiring surgical removal. We report here that in contrast to keratinocytes in normal skin (n = 4), BCC tumor cells (n = 6) strongly and diffusely express Fas ligand (CD95L), but not Fas antigen (CD95). This CD95L expression in vivo by BCC tumor cells is associated with peritumoral T lymphocytes that are undergoing apoptosis. Moreover, CD95L can be induced on normal cultured keratinocytes after exposure to ultraviolet-B light (UV-B) irradiation. This induction of CD95L was confirmed at the mRNA and protein levels using multipassaged human keratinocytes and a keratinocyte cell line. Keratinocytes induced to express CD95L acquired the functional capacity to kill a CD95-positive lymphocyte cell line. Whereas hyperplastic keratinocytes in untreated psoriatic plaques do not express CD95L on their plasma membrane, after UV-B treatment there is strong and diffuse keratinocyte CD95L expression that coincided in a temporal fashion with depletion of intraepidermal T cells in all five patients studied. Our data suggest a novel molecular pathway by which UV light can contribute to the ability of a skin cancer to escape from immune attack by cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and a previously unrecognized therapeutic mechanism of action for UV-B light in psoriasis via keratinocyte CD95L expression. Such immunological events involving CD95L provide new insight and opportunity for novel treatment approaches not only for cutaneous neoplasms but also for various T cell-mediated dermatoses such as psoriasis.
Narrowband UV-B produces superior clinical and histopathological resolution of moderate-to-severe psoriasis in patients compared with broadband UV-B
OBJECTIVE: To compare the therapeutic effectiveness of daily exposure to narrowband (NB) UV-B vs broadband (BB) UV-B with and without tar. DESIGN: Half-body exposures to NB UV-B or BB UV-B were given daily for 4 weeks in this comparative treatment study. Narrowband UV-B was delivered from TL-01 fluorescent bulbs and BB UV-B from conventional bulbs in the same phototherapy cabinet. Narrowband UV-B was compared using a paired treatment approach to BB UV-B above the waist and to BB UV-B with tar (Goeckerman treatment) below the waist. SETTING: General clinical research center of a university hospital inpatient unit. PATIENTS: Twenty-two patients with moderate-to-severe plaque-type psoriasis completed the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical efficacy was measured weekly using psoriasis severity scoring. Therapeutic outcomes after 4 weeks were compared in paired biopsy samples from treated lesions using objective histopathological measures (quantitative reduction in epidermal acanthosis and keratin 16 expression). RESULTS: Clinical resolution of psoriasis was achieved on 86% of paired sites treated with NB UV-B vs 73% treated with BB UV-B. Histopathological resolution of epidermal hyperplasia (marked by keratin 16 expression) was achieved in 88% of lesions treated with NB UV-B vs 59% treated with BB UV-B. Epidermal acanthosis was reduced more completely by NB UV-B treatment. Clinical resolution of psoriatic lesions occurred more rapidly following NB UV-B treatment, with some patients achieving complete resolution after 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Narrowband UV-B offers a significant therapeutic advantage over BB UV-B in the treatment of psoriasis, with faster clearing and more complete disease resolution. The erythema response to NB UV-B treatment was significantly more intense and persistent compared with BB UV-B. Considerably more necrotic keratinocytes were observed in histopathological sections of skin treated with NB UV-B after a single 2.0-minimum erythema dose exposure. Treatment should be coupled with obligate minimum erythema dose testing to NB UV-B and close clinical observation during dose increases.