Cytokine induced 3-D organotypic psoriasis skin model demonstrates distinct roles for NF-κB and JAK pathways in disease pathophysiology

Viktor Todorović*, Heath A. McDonald, Paul Hoover, Joseph B. Wetter, Anastasia E. Marinopoulos, Clarissa L. Woody, Loan Miller, Ariel Finkielsztein, Robert W. Dunstan, Amy S. Paller, Prisca Honore, Spiro Getsios, Victoria E. Scott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Psoriasis vulgaris is an inflammatory skin disease that affects 2%–3% of the population worldwide. One of the major challenges in discovering novel therapies is the poor translatability of animal models to human disease. Therefore, it is imperative to develop human preclinical models of psoriasis that are amenable to pharmacological intervention. Here, we report a 3-D reconstituted human epidermis (RHE) culture system treated with cytokines commonly associated with psoriasis (TNFα, IL-17A and IL-22) that reproduced some key features of the human disease. The effects on epidermal morphology, gene transcription and cytokine production, which are dysregulated in psoriasis were assessed. Certain morphological features of psoriatic epidermis were evident in cytokine-stimulated RHEs, including hypogranulosis and parakeratosis. In addition, RHEs responded to a cytokine mix in a dose-dependent manner by expressing genes and proteins associated with impaired keratinocyte differentiation (keratin 10/K10, loricrin), innate immune responses (S100A7, DEFB4, elafin) and inflammation (IL-1α, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12/23p40, IL-36γ, GM-CSF and IFNγ) typical of psoriasis. These disease-relevant changes in morphology, gene transcription and cytokine production were robustly attenuated by pharmacologically blocking TNFα/IL-17A-induced NF-κB activation with IKK-2 inhibitor IV. Conversely, inhibition of IL-22-induced JAK1 signalling with ABT-317 strongly attenuated morphological features of the disease but had no effect on NFκB-dependent cytokine production, suggesting distinct mechanisms of action by the cytokines driving psoriasis. These data support the use of cytokine-induced RHE models for identifying and targeting keratinocyte signalling pathways important for disease progression and may provide translational insights into novel keratinocyte mechanisms for novel psoriasis therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1047
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • ABT-317
  • IKK-2 inhibitor IV
  • IL-17A
  • IL-22
  • TNFα

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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