Molecular and cellular profiling of scalp psoriasis reveals differences and similarities compared to skin psoriasis

Juan Ruano, Mayte Suárez-Fariñas, Avner Shemer, Margeaux Oliva, Emma Guttman-Yassky, James G. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scalp psoriasis shows a variable clinical spectrum and in many cases poses a great therapeutic challenge. However, it remains unknown whether the immune response of scalp psoriasis differs from understood pathomechanisms of psoriasis in other skin areas. We sought to determine the cellular and molecular phenotype of scalp psoriasis by performing a comparative analysis of scalp and skin using lesional and nonlesional samples from 20 Caucasian subjects with untreated moderate to severe psoriasis and significant scalp involvement and 10 control subjects without psoriasis. Our results suggest that even in the scalp, psoriasis is a disease of the inter-follicular skin. The immune mechanisms that mediate scalp psoriasis were found to be similar to those involved in skin psoriasis. However, the magnitude of dysregulation, number of differentially expressed genes, and enrichment of the psoriatic genomic fingerprint were more prominent in skin lesions. Furthermore, the scalp transcriptome showed increased modulation of several gene-sets, particularly those induced by interferon-gamma, compared with that of skin psoriasis, which was mainly associated with activation of TNFα/L-17/IL-22-induced keratinocyte response genes. We also detected differences in expression of gene-sets involving negative regulation, epigenetic regulation, epidermal differentiation, and dendritic cell or Th1/Th17/Th22-related T-cell processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0148450
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Center for Advancing Translational SciencesUL1TR000043


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