Author(s): Young HS, Summers AM, Bhushan M, Brenchley PE, Griffiths CE
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Abstract Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)--a stimulus of angiogenesis--is produced by epidermal keratinocytes, and elevated levels have been found in plaques of psoriasis. Polymorphisms in the VEGF gene regulate production of VEGF. We postulated that patients with psoriasis may have altered systemic expression of VEGF consequent upon programming at the genomic level. We investigated the genetic basis of VEGF expression in patients with type 1 (onset before age 40 y) chronic plaque psoriasis compared to healthy controls and also measured plasma levels of VEGF and its receptors flt-1 and KDR. Patients with severe disease, and those with onset of psoriasis between the ages of 20 and 40 y showed significantly increased frequency of the +405 CC genotype (p=0.04 and p=0.02) and the C allele (p=0.03 and p=0.02), respectively, compared to healthy controls. Plasma levels of VEGF and flt-1 were significantly detectable in patients with psoriasis compared with controls (p<0.001); by contrast, mean plasma levels of KDR in psoriatic patients were comparable with controls. These results suggest that alterations in the biology of VEGF may be involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. VEGF, flt-1, and KDR could provide attractive targets for future psoriasis therapy.
This article was published in J Invest Dermatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research