Understanding the underlying mechanisms that lead to psoriasis
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that affects some 125 million people worldwide. It is characterized by itchy, scaly skin plaques. The exact cause of psoriasis is unclear. But mounting evidence implicates the immune system in the overproduction of cell-signalling molecules called cytokines, which stimulate skin cells called keratinocytes to express genes that maintain an inflammatory microenvironment. Now, scientists have found more evidence that a cytokine called IL-17A is especially critical in this process.