Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease of the skin and small joints characterized by Th1-mediated tissue destruction, and for which there is currently no efficient treatment. In December 2 Nature Medicine, Kamran Ghoreschi and colleagues at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany, show that administering interleukin-4 to patients with psoriasis selectively deviate disease-inducing Th1 cells toward a Th2 phenotype and improves disease symptoms (Nature Medicine, doi:10.1038/nm804, December 2, 2002).

Ghoreschi et al. gave different subcutaneous doses of human IL-4 (rhuIL-4) to 20 patients with severe psoriasis. They observed that the therapy was well tolerated, and within six weeks, all patients showed decreased clinical scores of disease. In addition, they showed that in psoriatic lesions, treatment with 0.2–0.5 µg/kg rhuIL-4 reduced the concentrations of IL-8 and IL-19, the number of chemokine receptor CCR5+ Th1 cells, and the IFN-γ /IL-4 ratio. In the circulation, rhuIL-4 increased the number of...

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