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 EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 183-193

Effect of baricitinib in regulating programmed death 1 and ligand programmed cell death ligand 1 through JAK/STAT pathway in psoriasis


1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT, Vellore, Tamil Nadu; Department of Biology, Jubilant Biosys Ltd., Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Biology, Jubilant Biosys Ltd., Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sabina Evan Prince
Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT, Vellore - 632 014, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijp.ijp_1089_20

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OBJECTIVES: Psoriasis is a chronic infectious skin disease triggered by an autoimmune process involving T-cell-mediated hyper-proliferation of keratinocytes. The objective of this study is to assess the modulation of programmed death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) through JAK/STAT pathway during the development of a psoriasis-like disease by both in vitro and in vivo model. Baricitinib, a known inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK2, was used to study the impact on PD-1 and PD-L1. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were stimulated with either anti-CD3/CD28 or PMA/Ionomycin, to modulate level of PD-1 and PD-L1 under psoriasis-like condition. Interferon-gamma (IFNγ) was used to treat HaCaT cells to mimic the diseased keratinocytes found in Psoriatic patients. Psoriasis was induced with Imiquimod (IMQ) in animal model to study the cross-talk between different cell types and pathways. RESULTS: Expression levels of PD-1 and PD-L1 in PBMC, and secretion of cytokines, namely tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), IFNγ, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-1 β, were down-regulated on treatment with baricitinib. Further, in IFNγ-treated HaCaT cells (keratinocytes) mRNA levels of KRT-17 and PD-L1 were up-regulated.). Interestingly, in IFNγ-treated HaCat cells baricitinib decreased the levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 β, IL-6, and TNFα along with KRT-17 and PD-L1. On IFNγ-treatment. Data from both PBMC and HaCaT suggest an anti-inflammatory role for this compound. Accordingly, baricitinib was able to alleviate disease symptom in IMQ induce mice model of psoriasis. As a consequence of baricitinib treatment down-regulation of p-STAT3, PD- and PD-L1 expression levels were observed. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates a crosstalk between JAK/STAT and PD-1/PD-L1 pathways. It also demonstrates that cytokines such as IFNγ and IL-17 are down-regulated by baricitinib. We believe decreased expressions of PD-1 and PD-L1 may be a consequence of baricitinib-induced down-regulation of IFNγ and IL-17. More importantly, our data from the acute model of psoriasis indicates that PD-L1 behaves as a T-cell-associated T-cell-associated surrogate activation marker rather than immunosuppressive marker in early phase of psoriasis. Therefore it does not exhibit a causal relationship to disease.






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