Innate immunity and antimicrobial defense systems in psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that is mediated by elements of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Its characteristic features in the skin consist of inflammatory changes in both dermis and epidermis, with abnormal keratinocyte differentiation and proliferation. Despite the elucidation of many aspects of psoriasis pathogenesis, some puzzling questions remain to be answered. A major question currently debated is whether psoriasis is a primary abnormality of the epidermal keratinocyte or a reflection of dysregulated bone marrow-derived immunocytes. In this review we will focus on understanding the role of the innate immune system in psoriasis and how this provides a rational solution to address the origin of this multifactorial disease. Innate immunity is nonspecific and genetically based. It protects the body against the constant risk of pathogens through the use of rapidly mobilized defenses that are able to recognize and kill a variety of threats (bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc). The key mechanisms of innate immune responses are the existence of receptors to recognize pathogens and the production of factors that kill pathogens, such as antimicrobial peptides and proteins. Any combination of excessive sensitivity of the innate detection system, or dysregulation of the response system, can manifest both an epidermal phenotype and an abnormal T-cell function. Thus, the multidimensional action of the innate immune system, its triggers, and its recently understood role in T-cell function argue for an important role for innate mechanisms of recognition and response in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.
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