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OBJECTIVEInterleukin 22 (IL-22), a relatively new cytokine has been found to induce significant proliferation of human keratinocytes and fibroblast like synoviocytes (FLS) and thus plays an important role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which are characterized by hyperproliferation of keratinocytes and FLS respectively. PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling cascade plays crucial role in cell growth and survival. Therefore our objective was to see the regulatory role of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling cascade in IL-22 induced proliferation of keratinocytes and FLS.
METHODSNormal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) and FLS were isolated from skin of healthy volunteer's undergone plastic surgery and synovial tissue of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and RA patients respectively. IL-22 induced proliferation of NHEK and FLS was measured by MTT assay. Phosphorylation of Akt/mTOR was determined by western blot assay and further confirmed by real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
RESULTSWe observed that IL-22 induced significant proliferation of NHEK and FLS which was effectively inhibited by dual kinase (PI3K/mTOR) inhibitor, NVP-BEZ235 and specific mTOR inhibitor, Rapamycin. In NHEK and FLS, IL-22 significantly induced phosphorylation of Akt and mTOR which was effectively blocked by Rapamycin and NVP-BEZ235. Further we did RT-PCR in NHEK and found that IL-22 significantly upregulated AKT1 and MTOR gene.
CONCLUSIONSThese results show that IL-22 induced proliferation of NHEK and FLS is dependent on PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. This novel observation provides the scope to develop new therapeutics targeting PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.