Patients with psoriasis have increased levels of claudin-3, a transmembrane protein that acts as a biomarker for gut permeability, which may be higher in active smokers and patients with greater disease severity. This is according to study results published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
In the cross-sectional study, a total of 60 patients with psoriasis (mean age, 45.6±12.1 years) and 30 healthy controls (mean age: 46.3±15.5 years) were enrolled to evaluate and compare factors that influenced claudin-3 concentrations. Venous blood samples were collected after an overnight 12-hour fast and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed to determine claudin-3 concentration.
Compared with healthy controls, patients with psoriasis had significantly higher median plasma claudin-3 concentrations (43.3 ng/ml [interquartile range (IQR), 42.3-44.2] vs 50.7 ng/ml [IQR, 47.3-54.2], respectively; P <.001]. After a 16-week treatment period, the patients who achieved a Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) 90 response had a trend toward decreased circulating claudin-3 plasma concentrations. The researchers also found significant positive correlations between both the claudin-3 concentration and the PASI score (r = 0.828; P <.001). Positive correlations were also observed between claudin-3 and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (r = 0.847; P <.001).
According to a multivariable linear regression analysis, factors independently associated with a higher claudin-3 concentration in patients with psoriasis included PASI score (beta coefficient: 0.608; P <.001), higher neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (beta coefficient: 0.243; P <.01), and active smoking (beta coefficient: 0.165; P <.05).
Study limitations included the small number of patients in the final sample, as well as the cross-sectional nature of the analysis.
The researchers concluded that their study suggests “that breaking [the] proposed vicious circle can improve intestinal barrier function.”
The study was funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education special purpose subsidy. The authors declared no other financial conflicts of interest.
Sikora M, Chrabąszcz M, Waśkiel-Burnat A, et al. Claudin-3 – a new intestinal integrity marker in patients with psoriasis. Association with disease severity [published online May 23, 2019]. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol.doi:10.1111/jdv.15700