TRPV1 mediates inflammation and hyperplasia in imiquimod (IMQ)-induced psoriasiform dermatitis (PsD) in mice

Yan Zhou, Taylor Follansbee, Xuesong Wu, Dan Han, Sebastian Yu, Dan T. Domocos, Zhenrui Shi, Mirela Carstens, Earl Carstens, Samuel T. Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is known to mediate itch and neurogenic inflammation, but the role of TRPV1 in psoriasiform dermal inflammation is poorly understood. Objective: To investigate the function of TRPV1 in imiquimod (IMQ)-induced psoriasiform dermatitis (PsD) in mice. Methods: Following daily treatment of topical IMQ cream for consecutive 5 days in C57BL/6 wide-type (WT) and TRPV1 gene knockout (KO) mice, we assessed the psoriasis severity index (PSI) scores, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), dermal inflammatory infiltrates, as well as gene expression levels for psoriasis related genes in mouse skin lesions. Results: Compared with WT mice, the clinical and TEWL scores, the extent of skin hyperplasia, the area of Munro microabscesses (MM) and angiogenesis of psoriasis were all significantly decreased in TRPV1 KO mice triggered with IMQ, suggesting a reduction in skin inflammation and barrier defects. In addition, the infiltration of CD45+ leukocytes, mast cells as well as CD3+ T cells was all reduced in the IMQ-treated skin of TRPV1 KO mice. Quantitative Real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) revealed that expression levels of IL-1β IL-6, IL-23, S100A8 were decreased while IL-10 was increased in TRPV1 KO mice. Conclusions: In summary, key markers of psoriatic inflammation and epidermal hyperplasia are reduced in TRPV1 KO mice, indicating the involvement of TRPV1 in the psoriasiform inflammation and suggesting its potential as a therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dermatological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Itch
  • Pain neuroinflammation
  • Psoriasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


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