What Psoriasis and AD Treatments May Eventually Have in Common

psoriasis on elbowPsoriasis may exist across a spectrum with atopic dermatitis (AD) due to overlapping disease characteristics caused by the presence of T-cell axes, according to a recent editorial. Thus, targeting multiple T-cell axes may benefit certain AD subtypes in attaining similar disease improvement to psoriasis. 


A common T-cell mediated inflammatory disease, psoriasis is often effectively treated by targeting Th17 T-cells and interleukin 17 (IL-17) cytokines. 

“Today, [approximately 90%] of psoriasis patients have extremely controlled disease by targeting the IL-23/Th17 T-cell axis with IL-23 or IL-17-targeting antibodies,” wrote Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, and James G. Krueger, MD.

Although psoriasis and AD display differing T-cell polarity and different arrays of cytokines, certain subtypes of AD including Asian-origin, intrinsic, and pediatric AD have a prominent IL-17 component. This implies that targeting IL-17 in certain subtypes of AD could potentially lead to disease improvement similar to that of psoriasis.

“An outstanding question is whether targeting a single cytokine axis in AD, for example, Th2 axis, will lead to disease suppression in the majority of patients and across all subtypes, including those with higher IL-17 expression, or whether it is necessary to personalize therapies and target multiple T-cell axes to attain similar disease improvement to psoriasis,” the researchers concluded.

—Christina Vogt


Guttman-Yassky E, Krueger JG. Atopic dermatitis and psoriasis: two different immune diseases or one spectrum? Curr Opinion Immunol. 2017;48:68-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coi.2017.08.008.