As part of a study, a MedUni Vienna research team has now discovered a key starting point for inhibiting inflammation in both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The researchers findings may form the basis for developing a new treatment, diagnostic, and prevention strategies.
Around 250,000 people in Austria suffer from psoriasis. One-third of them develop inflammation in their joints (psoriatic arthritis) due to a chronic skin condition.
The study conducted by the research group led by Erwin Wagner of MedUni Vienna focused on the S100A9 gene, which has long been at the center of its internationally-acclaimed scientific research into psoriasis. The team has discovered that the severity of psoriasis (Ps) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can be reduced by inhibiting S100A9 systemically throughout the whole body rather than locally on the skin
With this finding, the MedUni Vienna researchers are laying the foundation for a paradigm shift in the treatment of Ps and PsA:
“Our study is an important step towards the development of targeted therapeutic options in the form of drugs that act systemically rather than locally on the skin,” affirms Erwin Wagner. New diagnostic and prevention strategies can also build on the study.
As shown by previous basic research by Erwin Wagner’s team at MedUni Vienna, the symptoms of psoriasis disappear when the S100A9 gene is deactivated in all cells of the body. The recent preclinical experiments were able to shed light on the particular influence that the skin and immune cells in which S100A9 is produced have on disease severity.
Erwin Wagner said since the inflammatory responses in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are enhanced when S100A9 is only inhibited in skin cells, the drugs inhibiting S100A9 have to be administered systemically in the form of tablets or drips.