Psoriasis affects children and adults differently—according to recent research in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, pediatric psoriasis patients express different patterns of glycoproteins interleukin-17 and interleukin-22.
While more research exists on the immunopathology of psoriasis in adults than children, psoriasis has been found to differ in presentation, triggers, natural history and response to therapy in children. According to the study, this suggests differences in the disease’s processes in pediatric and adult patients.
Researchers analyzed a 4mm punch biopsy of an active psoriatic plaque from pediatric patients ages 2–20 years old, and adult patients ages 20–76 years old. Most patients were first diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, however a sample of participants were diagnosed with guttage psoriasis.
A multiparameter flow cytometry to analyze the skin samples from psoriatic plaques of pediatric and adult patients. The samples were compared against healthy, age-matched controls in order to find the inflammatory cell profiles. Scientists observed increases in IL-22 and a relatively lower elevation of IL-17 from CD4+ and CD8+ cells in the pediatric group than adult patients.
“These findings support a potential role for anti-IL-17 therapy and, in addition, suggest that anti-IL-22 therapy might also be efficacious for pediatric psoriasis,” said the study’s authors.
The study’s authors note that these findings are still preliminary, as it was a pilot study with a small sample size. Future research with larger subsets will allow further patient comparison.