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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 October;142(5):467-77

language: English

A role for peptidoglycan in psoriasis?

Baker B. S. 1, Fry L. 2

1 General Practitioner
2 Faculty of Medicine Imperial College, St Mary’s Campus, London, UK


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The association between streptococcal infections and psoriasis has been well documented, but the mechanisms involved have remained unknown. Recent findings have suggested that peptidoglycan (PG), a major cell wall component of Gram-positive bacteria may provide the link between a streptococcal infection in the tonsils, and the subsequent induction of psoriasis skin lesions. PG is a major activator of innate immune system, and, in addition, can act as a classical antigen, activating PG-specific skin Th1 cells in the context of the psoriasis-associated HLA alleles. Consistent with increasing evidence of altered innate immunity in psoriasis, genes coding for PG innate recognition receptors are located in susceptibility linkage sites for the disease. Altered innate recognition of PG may contribute to the enhanced Th1 cell response to the bacterial antigen observed in skin lesions. These observations suggest that PG may be a major etiological factor for psoriasis and emphasises the importance of PG in bacterial infection-induced inflammatory disease.

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