Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Liver X receptor: therapeutic targeting of common pathways in Psoriasis and Cardiovascular co-morbidities

Both psoriasis and atheroslcerosis are diseases characterized by a chronic and systemic inflammatory profile with local lipid disturbances that alter the barrier function of the skin (psoriasis) and cause the development of atherosclerotic plaques (atherosclerosis).

In the past few years, several studies have demonstrated that patients suffering from psoriasis present increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. The results of these studies together with the similar pathological features suggest that a common underlying etiology may connect these two conditions.

Liver X receptors (LXRs) are attractive therapeutic targets as they are known to regulate genes associated with lipid metabolism and inflammation. Previous studies have demonstrated that the expression of LXR  is expressively reduced in psoriatic lesions and that the use of LXR agonists diminishes the development of the atherosclerotic lesions.

In this context, the aims of the project are to better understand the relationship between psoriasis and the development of atherosclerosis as a co-morbidity and to elucidate the role of LXR in these disease,s as well as its potential role as a therapeutic target.

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