Psoriasis and antimicrobial peptides

Toshiya Takahashi, Kenshi Yamasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Psoriasis is a systemic inflammatory disease caused by crosstalk between various cells such as T cells, neutrophils, dendritic cells, and keratinocytes. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) such as β-defensin, S100, and cathelicidin are secreted from these cells and activate the innate immune system through various mechanisms to induce inflammation, thus participating in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. In particular, these antimicrobial peptides enhance the binding of damage-associated molecular patterns such as self-DNA and self-RNA to their receptors and promote the secretion of interferon from activated plasmacytoid dendritic cells and keratinocytes to promote inflammation in psoriasis. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), complexes of self-DNA and proteins including LL-37 released from neutrophils in psoriatic skin, induce Th17. Activated myeloid dendritic cells secrete a mass of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-12 and IL-23 in psoriasis, which is indispensable for the proliferation and survival of T cells that produce IL-17. AMPs enhance the production of some of Th17 and Th1 cytokines and modulate receptors and cellular signaling in psoriasis. Inflammation induced by DAMPs, including self-DNA and RNA released due to microinjuries or scratches, and the enhanced recognition of DAMPs by AMPs, may be involved in the mechanism underlying the Köbner phenomenon in psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6791
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 2


  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Cathelicidin (LL-37)
  • DAMPs
  • NETs
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cells
  • Psoriasis
  • S100 proteins
  • Th17
  • β-defensin


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