THE JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY
Alexandra Zanin-Zhorov, Jonathan M. Weiss, Alissa Trzeciak et. al.
The Journal of Immunology
Targeted inhibition of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK)2 downregulates the proinflammatory T cell response while increasing the regulatory arm of the immune response in animals models of autoimmunity and Th17-skewing human cell culture in vitro. In this study, we report that oral administration of a selective ROCK2 inhibitor, KD025, reduces psoriasis area and severity index scores by 50% from baseline in 46% of patients with psoriasis vulgaris, and it decreases epidermal thickness as well as T cell infiltration in the skin. We observed significant reductions of IL-17 and IL-23, but not IL-6 and TNF-α, whereas IL-10 levels were increased in peripheral blood of clinical responders after 12 wk of treatment with KD025. Collectively, these data demonstrate that an orally available selective ROCK2 inhibitor downregulates the Th17-driven autoimmune response and improved clinical symptoms in psoriatic patients via a defined molecular mechanism that involves concurrent modulation of cytokines without deleterious impact on the rest of the immune system.
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