Decoy receptor 3 (DcR3) is a soluble receptor of Fas ligand (FasL), LIGHT (TNFSF14) and TNF-like molecule 1A (TL1A) and plays pleiotropic roles in many inflammatory and autoimmune disorders and malignant diseases. In cutaneous biology, DcR3 is expressed in primary human epidermal keratinocytes and is upregulated in skin lesions in psoriasis, which is characterized by chronic inflammation and angiogenesis. However, the regulatory mechanisms of DcR3 over-expression in skin lesions of psoriasis are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that DcR3 can be detected in both dermal blood vessels and epidermal layers of psoriatic skin lesions. Analysis of serum samples showed that DcR3 was elevated, but FasL was downregulated in psoriatic patients compared with normal individuals. Additional cell studies revealed a central role of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in controlling the basal expression of DcR3 in keratinocytes. Activation of EGFR by epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-α strikingly upregulated DcR3 production. TNF-αenhanced DcR3 expression in both keratinocytes and endothelial cells compared with various inflammatory cytokines involved in psoriasis. Additionally, TNF-α-enhanced DcR3 expression in keratinocytes was inhibited when EGFR was knocked down or EGFR inhibitor was used. The NF-κB pathway was critically involved in the molecular mechanisms underlying the action of EGFR and inflammatory cytokines. Collectively, the novel regulatory mechanisms of DcR3 expression in psoriasis, particularly in keratinocytes and endothelial cells, provides new insight into the pathogenesis of psoriasis and may also contribute to the understanding of other diseases that involve DcR3 overexpression.
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