Mechanisms of the Pathologies of the Cutaneous Inflammation
The principal research topic of our group is the pathophysiology of cutaneous inflammation, using psoriasis as a model disease. The so-called “Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disorders (IMIDs)” are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. WE have identified insulin resistance as common denominator of endothelial dysfunction/atherosclerosis on one hand, and epithelial dysfunction/psoriasis on the other hand. Our current projects investigate the cross-talk between cytokines and adipokines as well as insulin receptor signaling in non-metabolic cells (such as endothelial cells, keratinocytes, T-cells). To this end, we have identified several kinases playing important roles in this process and are now studying functional consequences of blocking these kinases. Finally, restoring insulin sensitivity as a means to treat inflammation is being evaluated in animal models for eczema and psoriasis. These studies are flanked by clinical studies in patients suffering from IMIDs, with particular emphasis on biomarkers for insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk. This work is supporte din part by the Swiss National Foundation (SNF).