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The distribution of TNF-alpha, p55 TNF receptor (TNF-R) and p75 TNF-R in normal skin and uninvolved and lesional skin from psoriasis patients has been investigated, using specific mono- and polyclonal antibodies. In normal skin, and uninvolved and lesional skin from psoriasis patients, p55 TNF-R is associated with epidermal keratinocytes and a network of upper dermal dendritic cells. This suggests that the actions of TNF-alpha on epidermal cells in vivo are mediated by binding to the p55 TNF-R. In lesional psoriasis skin, there was staining of the parakeratotic stratum corneum and increased expression of p55 TNF-R in association with upper dermal blood vessels. Staining for p75 TNF-R in normal skin was restricted to eccrine sweat ducts and dermal dendritic cells, and was absent from the epidermis. In lesional psoriasis skin, there was staining for p75 TNF-R in association with upper dermal blood vessels and perivascular infiltrating cells. TNF-alpha in normal skin was predominantly localized to the basal cell layers of the epidermis, and was seen in association with eccrine ducts and sebaceous glands. In lesional psoriasis skin, and to a lesser extent in uninvolved psoriasis skin, TNF-alpha was distributed throughout the epidermis, and was also specifically localized to upper dermal blood vessels. Up-regulation of TNF-alpha, p55 TNF-R and p75 TNF-R on dermal blood vessels in psoriasis may play an important role in the pathogenesis of this condition by promoting cutaneous recruitment of inflammatory cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin exp immunol

Publication Date





354 - 362


Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Molecular Weight, Psoriasis, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Skin, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha