UVB genomics and psoriasis
Principal Investigator: Professors Nick J Reynolds
Full project title: Functional and genomic characterisation of ultraviolet-B on involved and uninvolved psoriatic skin: application towards understanding of environmental stress effects on ageing and cancer risk.
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, skin disease that affects more than 1 million people in the UK, often causing considerable psychological and social disability. In addition, psoriasis is associated with several long-term conditions including arthritis, metabolic syndrome and cardio-vascular disease that can impact on patient’s general health.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) is an effective treatment for psoriasis, and while some patients remain clear for many months after completing a course of UVB, others relapse quite quickly.
The aim of this study is to develop biological markers (biomarkers) that predict which patients will do well with UVB and which patients will not. By using computer simulations, we also aim to develop new and more effective light-treatment regimes. In other words, treatment plans would be personalised for each patient.
In addition to clearing psoriasis, UVB in natural sunlight has beneficial effects through vitamin D production for example but may also result in skin damage that predisposes to skin cancer. It is therefore important to understand all the effects of UVB on psoriasis and normal skin.
This research will provide new information about how UVB clears psoriasis and identify new markers of response that can be used to personalise treatment. At the same time this study will provide new information about how UVB affects the immune system and repair mechanisms in normal skin.
One of our recent publications arising from this work has shown wide ranging effects of therapeutic wavelengths of UVB on psoriasis including oxidative stress, circadian rhythm, atherosclerotic pathways and key role in programmed cell death (apoptosis).