Indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) degrades the essential amino acid tryptophan resulting in tryptophan depletion and the accumulation of catabolites such as kynurenine. The expression/activity of IDO in various cells, including macrophages and dendritic cells, results in an inhibition of T-cell responses in a number of situations, such as toward allogeneic fetuses and tissue grafts. Psoriasis is an immune-mediated skin disease involving T cells; kynureninase and its generation of catabolites downstream of IDO are reported to play an important role in this disease. We hypothesized that mice lacking the IDO1 gene would exhibit a hyperactive immune response and an exacerbation of skin lesions in the imiquimod-induced mouse model of psoriasis. Littermate wild-type and IDO1-knockout mice were treated with imiquimod for 5 days, and the severity of psoriasiform skin lesions assessed using the psoriasis area and severity index (PASI), ear edema measured using a digital caliper, and thickness of the epidermis determined by histology. Expression of pro-inflammatory mediators and tryptophan-metabolizing enzymes was monitored using quantitative RT-PCR. Imiquimod increased ear edema, PASI scores, and epidermal thickness in both WT and IDO1 knockout mice; however, there were no differences observed between the 2 genotypes. There were also no differences in imiquimod’s induction of skin inflammatory mediators, indicating no effect of IDO1 gene loss in this psoriasis model. Although these data suggest a lack of involvement of IDO1 in psoriatic skin inflammation, other possible mechanisms, such as compensatory changes in other pathways and the involvement of the IDO2 isoform, must also be considered.
- Imiquimod (IMQ)
- T cells
- indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology