Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated skin disease that involves the interaction of immune and skin cells, and is characterized by cytokine-driven epidermal hyperplasia, deviant differentiation, inflammation, and angiogenesis. Because the available treatments for psoriasis have significant limitations, dietary products are potential natural sources of therapeutic molecules, which can repair the molecular defects associated with psoriasis and could possibly be developed for its management. Fisetin (3,7,3′,4′-tetrahydroxyflavone), a phytochemical naturally found in pigmented fruits and vegetables, has demonstrated proapoptotic and antioxidant effects in several malignancies. This study utilized biochemical, cellular, pharmacological, and tissue engineering tools to characterize the effects of fisetin on normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEKs), peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and CD4+ T lymphocytes in 2D and 3D psoriasis-like disease models. Fisetin treatment of NHEKs dose- and time-dependently induced differentiation and inhibited interleukin-22-induced proliferation, as well as activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Fisetin treatment of TNF-α stimulated NHEKs also significantly inhibited the activation of p38 and JNK, but had enhanced effect on ERK1/2 (MAPK). In addition, fisetin treatment significantly decreased the secretion of Th1/Th-17 pro-inflammatory cytokines, particularly IFN-γ and IL-17A by 12-O
-tetradecanolylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA)-stimulated NHEKs and anti-CD3/CD28-activated human PBMCs. Furthermore, we established the in vivo relevance of fisetin functions, using a 3D full-thickness human skin model of psoriasis (FTRHSP) that closely mimics in vivo human psoriatic skin lesions. Herein, fisetin significantly ameliorated psoriasis-like disease features, and decreased the production of IL-17 by CD4+ T lymphocytes co-cultured with FTRHSP. Collectively, our data identify the prodifferentiative, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects of fisetin, via modulation of the PI3K-Akt-mTOR and p38/JNK pathways and the production of cytokines in 2D and 3D human skin models of psoriasis. These results suggest that fisetin has a great potential to be developed as an effective and inexpensive agent for the treatment of psoriasis and other related inflammatory skin disorders.
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