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Molecule May Trigger Psoriasis

Study in mice offers hope for new treatment of chronic skin disease

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A molecule may play a major role in the development of psoriasis, offering a new way to treat this chronic skin disease, a study finds.

A team at Wyeth Research, in Cambridge, Mass., found that antibodies that neutralized the IL-22 molecule in mice prevented the development of psoriasis-like lesions. The researchers also found injecting IL-22 into the skin of normal mice activated genes associated with the development of psoriasis-like skin lesions.

These findings, published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggest that targeting IL-22 may provide a new approach to treating people with psoriasis, the study authors said.

Psoriasis, which causes red, scaly, raised skin lesions, affects up to 3 percent of the world's population and more than 7.5 million Americans, according to the National Psoriasis Association.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about psoriasis.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Investigation, news release, Jan. 17, 2008

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