Differential effects of cyclosporine A on Langerhans cells and regulatory T-cell populations in severe psoriasis: an immunohistochemical and flow cytometric analysis

C Horrocks, J I Duncan, H F Sewell, Anthony Ormerod, A W Thomson

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Systemic administration of cyclosporine A (Cy-A; initial dose 5 or 2.5 mg/kg/day) to patients with severe chronic plaque psoriasis produced marked reductions in psoriasis area and severity index within 4 weeks. The clinical response was accompanied, within 1 week, by progressive reductions in T-cell subpopulations (CD3+ and CD4+) and in numbers of interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2-R)-positive (CD25+) cells within lesional skin. Over the first 4 weeks of treatment, these changes were accompanied by reductions in DR+ cells within the epidermis (minor) and dermis (substantial). In contrast, numbers of epidermal CD1+ cells increased substantially during resolution of the skin lesions. Unlike lesional skin, however, no significant changes in absolute numbers of circulating immunoregulatory T-cell populations, including helper/inducer (CD45R) and suppressor/inducer (CD29W) subsets, quantified by dual immunofluorescence labelling, were detected. Moreover, numbers of blood-borne HLA-DR, IL-2-R and transferrin receptor (CD71) positive lymphocytes were unaffected by Cy-A therapy, nor were any differences detected between psoriatic patients and normal controls using these cell markers. Our data suggest that the immunoregulatory effects of Cy-A in psoriasis are mediated via lesional T lymphocytes and that epidermal CD1+ DR- dendritic cells may play an influential role in the regulation of T-cell function and keratinocyte growth during resolution of the skin lesions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-570
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1990



  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Cyclosporins
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Langerhans Cells
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis
  • Skin
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • T-Lymphocytes

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