Author(s): Yamasaki E, Soma Y, Kawa Y, Mizoguchi M
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The mechanism by which a low dose of methotrexate (MTX) works to treat psoriasis is not clear. The overexpression of cell adhesion molecules on dermal vessels is important in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and is probably induced by upregulation of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of MTX at concentrations comparable with in vivo levels after the administration of low-dose MTX to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) on the growth and expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). METHODS: Cell proliferation assay, immunostaining, immunoblotting, cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were performed to examine the effects of MTX on HUVEC. RESULTS: MTX inhibited the proliferation of HUVEC at 10-7 mol L-1 and 10-6 mol L-1 without showing cytotoxic effects. It also inhibited TNF-alpha-induced ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression by HUVEC at 10-6 mol L-1. The inhibitory effect of MTX was more pronounced on ICAM-1 expression than on VCAM-1 expression. RT-PCR analysis revealed that TNF-alpha-induced ICAM-1 gene expression was strongly downregulated by MTX. CONCLUSIONS: Low-dose MTX may act on psoriasis by suppressing the TNF-alpha-induced expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 by vascular endothelial cells. Inhibition of neovascularization may be another mechanism of action of MTX.
This article was published in Br J Dermatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research