Downregulation and altered spatial pattern of caveolin-1 in chronic plaque psoriasis

L. Campbell, P. Laidler, R. E B Watson, B. Kirby, C. E M Griffiths, M. Gumbleton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Caveolin-1 is a key structural and functional protein for plasmalemmal invaginations termed caveolae. Caveolin-1 is known to modulate multiple signal-transducing pathways involved in cell differentiation and proliferation. Psoriasis is viewed as a multifactorial pathology characterized by keratinocyte hyperproliferation and abnormal cell maturation. We hypothesized that loss of caveolin-1 within epidermal keratinocytes may contribute to the development and/or progression of the psoriatic phenotype. Objectives: To examine the expression and spatial distribution of caveolin-1 in skin biopsies from normal subjects and in patients with psoriasis. Methods: Using immunohistochemical methods caveolin-1 protein expression was assayed in two independent patient groups. Firstly, a retrospective analysis was conducted on archival skin samples obtained from nine normal subjects and from involved tissue of 12 patients with psoriasis. Following this, a prospectively designed study was conducted in 10 further patients with active psoriasis and involving caveolin-1 staining of biopsy tissue from the uninvolved, advancing edge and lesional skin tissue from within the same subject. Results: In normal skin or uninvolved skin from psoriasis patients intense caveolin-1 staining was present throughout full-thickness epidermis. In 20 of the 22 patient cases (combined retrospective and prospective samples) caveolin-1 protein was significantly reduced and consistently showed very weak or absent staining within the hyperproliferative basal cell layers of the psoriatic plaque (P <0.002 for retrospective archival study and P <0.01 for prospectively designed study). Comparisons between caveolin-1 staining in uninvolved tissue and at the advancing edge of a migrating plaque were more equivocal (P > 0.05). Conclusions: The findings of this study are consistent with a downregulation of caveolin-1 that may serve as an aetiological factor in the development and/or progression of psoriasis. Further mechanistic investigations are required with the potential that caveolin-1 protein may be a novel target for therapy of psoriasis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)701-709
    Number of pages8
    JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Caveolae
    • Caveolin
    • Psoriasis
    • Signal transduction
    • Skin


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