Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes a rash with itchy, scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp.
Psoriasis is a common, long-term (chronic) disease with no cure. It can be painful, interfere with sleep, and make it hard to concentrate. The condition tends to go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a while. Common triggers in people with a genetic predisposition to psoriasis include infections, cuts or burns, and certain medications.
The chronic disease affects over 125 million people all over the world and an increasing trend has been observed. as a systemic inflammatory process, it predisposes, twice as frequently as in the general population, to the development of metabolic disorders, and decreases the quality of life of the affected individuals.
New Therapeutic Approach Using UC-MSCs
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown great potential in treating autoimmune diseases due to their immunomodulatory properties.
Recently, a group of researchers evaluated the use of human umbilical cord-derived MSCs (UC-MSCs) for the treatment of psoriasis. The team used a mice model of psoriasis (imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like skin inflammation), and applied the UC-MSCs subcutaneously.
They evaluated the severity of the psoriasis-like dermatitis by cumulative psoriasis area and severity index score and epidermal thickness. Also, flow cytometry was used to detect T helper cells, regulatory T cells, and γδ T cells in skin-draining lymph nodes.
The team found that UC-MSCs drastically diminished the severity of the dermatitis and suppressed the inflammatory response. A dose of 2 million MSCs was used subcutaneously. The UC-MSCs decreased inflammation by inhibiting interleukin-17.
Previous studies have shown that intravenous applications of UC-MSCs are also effective in the treatment of psoriasis. This new approach could be used in combination with systemic application to increase the effectiveness of the therapy.
Chen, Y., Hu, Y., Zhou, X. et al. Human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells ameliorate psoriasis-like dermatitis by suppressing IL-17-producing γδ T cells. Cell Tissue Res 388, 549–563 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-022-03616-x
Owczarczyk-Saczonek A, Krajewska-Włodarczyk M, Kruszewska A, Placek W, Maksymowicz W, Wojtkiewicz J. Stem Cells as Potential Candidates for Psoriasis Cell-Replacement Therapy. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(10):2182. Published 2017 Oct 20. doi:10.3390/ijms18102182