Study Examines Role of Interleukin-30 in Psoriasis

Patients with psoriasis have a higher level of interleukin-30 (IL-30) than healthy patients, according to a recent study.

A new study has found that patients with psoriasis have a higher level of interleukin-30 (IL-30) than healthy patients.

The results point to IL-30 having a role in the proliferation of epidermal cells during the development of psoriasis, according to a study published in the Journal of International Medical Research. The authors said larger-scale studies are required to further understand the cytokine’s role in causing psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune and skin inflammatory condition that affects 2% of the global population, including 6.7 million Americans. It is associated with several other conditions that lead to reduced immunity, including type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, psoriatic arthritis, anxiety, and depression. Understanding the role of cytokines in psoriasis is important because of their role in activating immune cells, the authors said.

IL-30 is mainly produced by immune cells originating from the bone marrow, including macrophages, monocytes, microglia, and dendritic cells and is activated in various ways. It is involved in initiating both classic and trans-signaling pathways, suggesting it may have different effects on various cell types, the authors said. IL-30 independently plays a significant role in the development and progression of autoimmune diseases like psoriasis by regulating T helper and Th17 cells.

Further study of IL-30 in psoriasis lesions will require further in vitro and in vivo studies, they said. However, their study findings indicate downregulation of IL-30 expression may reduce the proliferation of abnormal keratinocytes and other related features of psoriasis.

The study examined serum collected from 26 patients with psoriasis and 26 from a control group in China between 2018 and 2019. Patients were divided into three groups according to their psoriasis area severity index (PASI) score: mild (PASI less than 10), moderate (PASI 10-29), and severe (PASI greater than 30). Mean age was 45.5 [12.8] years for patients with psoriasis and 40.1 [16.2] years for the healthy controls. More than two-thirds of the psoriasis group were men, compared with 46.2% for the control group.

Results showed a significant difference in mean IL-30 concentration for patients with psoriasis (111.96 pg/ML) vs. the control group (33.76 pg/ML) (P <.001).

In addition, a positive correlation was found between IL-30 levels and PASI scores in psoriasis cases (rho = 0.174). The correlation was weak and not statistically significant.

Consistent with results of previously reported studies in psoriasis, the study showed that the serum level of IL-30 was not associated with age or sex. Age at diagnosis and duration of the disease in patients with psoriasis also were not significantly associated with the mean rank of the serum IL-30 level.

The study showed a predominance of male patients with psoriasis, whereas others reported a higher prevalence of women. The authors said selection bias may have contributed to their results.

The presence of elevated levels of cytokines in serum levels in psoriasis previously have been showed to be correlated with disease severity. Determining the specific or combined role of cytokines “can revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis,” the authors wrote.


Omar NS, Long X, Xian J, et al. Serum interleukin-30 level in patients with psoriasis and its correlation with psoriasis severity: a case-control study. J Int Med Res. 2021;49(4):1-9. doi:10.1177%2F03000605211004039

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