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Decoding Psoriasis: The Multi-Omics Revolution

Dive into a world where science meets skin in our insightful overview of the potential of multi-omics approaches in understanding psoriasis! Indeed, an exciting review has recently appeared (published in Inflammation), which we present to you here.

Discover how the convergence of genetics, metabolism and the immune system is shaping the history of psoriasis, a disease that affects millions of people. This groundbreaking review reveals the power of multi-omics to unravel the complexities of this intractable condition. Be captivated by the promise of precision medicine and the advances towards personalized treatments that could transform lives. Join us on this enlightening journey to the forefront of dermatology research!

Decoding Psoriasis: Cholesterol, Immunity, and the Multi-Omics Revolution

Understanding Psoriasis Through the Lens of Multi-Omics

The skin, as a vital organ, maintains its balance through the complex interactions between the immune system and metabolic processes, particularly those involving cholesterol metabolism. A disruption in these processes can lead to inflammatory skin conditions, with psoriasis being a prominent example.

The study we highlight dives into the world of multi-omics to investigate the biomarkers associated with psoriasis, focusing on cholesterol metabolism. By leveraging techniques such as transcriptomics and metabolomics, researchers are beginning to uncover the intricate communication between immunometabolism and the inflammation characteristic of psoriasis.

The strides made in multi-omics not only shed light on the complexities of psoriasis but also pave the way for targeted drug therapies and precision medicine. This review serves as a foundational piece for researchers interested in the interplay between cholesterol metabolism and psoriasis.

Several computational techniques and resources are being developed to combine metabolomics with other multi-omics data (…). These tools facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of disease immunology and metabolic processes, and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning methods has aided in identifying key crosstalk genes for metabolic syndrome and psoriasis.
Guo, Y., Luo, L., Zhu, J. et al. Advance in Multi-omics Research Strategies on Cholesterol Metabolism in Psoriasis. Inflammation (2024).

Introduction to Psoriasis and Cholesterol Metabolism

The skin's epidermis plays an essential role in acting as a barrier that prevents water loss, with substances like ceramides, cholesterol, and very long-chain fatty acids being critical to this function. Alterations in these components can lead to disorders such as psoriasis, affecting a significant portion of the global population. Psoriasis is characterized by the appearance of erythematous plaques and is associated with a myriad of comorbidities. Beyond the physical manifestations, psoriasis patients often exhibit abnormalities in cholesterol metabolism, which may contribute to the disease's pathophysiology.

The Importance of Multi-Omics in Psoriasis Research

#1: Deciphering Complex Interactions

The application of multi-omics provides a comprehensive approach to understanding the multifactorial nature of psoriasis. By integrating various omics disciplines, researchers can:

  • Analyze the transcriptomic changes to observe gene expression patterns.

  • Examine the metabolomic profiles to identify alterations in metabolic pathways.

  • Understand the influence of cholesterol metabolism on psoriasis.

  • Explore the role of inflammatory mediators and cytokines in disease progression.

#2: Unveiling Biomarkers and Pathways

Multi-omics strategies are instrumental in identifying novel biomarkers that can lead to a deeper understanding of psoriasis. These biomarkers offer insights into the disease's heterogeneity and can guide the development of personalized treatment options.

#3: Advancing Precision Medicine

The review emphasizes the potential of multi-omics in advancing precision medicine for psoriasis. By dissecting the complex biological network involved in the disease, it becomes possible to tailor treatments to individual patient profiles, thereby enhancing therapeutic outcomes.

Future Perspectives in Psoriasis Management

The review underscores the need for continued research in the field of multi-omics, especially in the context of psoriasis and cholesterol metabolism. It suggests that these efforts could result in:

  • The discovery of targeted drug therapies.

  • The improvement of diagnostic and prognostic tools.

  • A better understanding of the relationship between metabolic disorders and skin inflammation.

In conclusion, the study reviewed here offers a promising outlook on the role of multi-omics in the fight against psoriasis and is a step towards more personalized and effective treatments for patients.

The Role of Cholesterol Metabolism in Psoriasis Comorbidities

Cholesterol metabolism has been intricately linked to several comorbidities associated with psoriasis, such as hyperlipidemia, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Studies like the one conducted by Mallbris et al. suggest that lipid abnormalities in psoriasis patients have a genetic basis, as evidenced by altered cholesterol levels in VLDL and HDL at the onset of the skin disease. These findings indicate that such lipid profiles may not be affected by psoriatic pathogenesis or treatment, pointing towards a potential genetic predisposition to these metabolic disturbances.

Psoriasis as an Immunometabolic Disease

The interplay between the immune system and lipid metabolism suggests that psoriasis can be classified as an immunometabolic disease. This relationship becomes evident as lipid disturbances correlate with immunologic abnormalities. Metabolomics, as a field of study, has been pivotal in exploring these links, revealing the role of cholesterol metabolism in both the physiology and pathology of inflammatory and immunological diseases. Persistent inflammation is known to affect lipid composition, thereby impacting disease progression.

Systems Biology and Multi-Omics in Understanding Psoriasis

The use of systems biology and integrative multi-omics approaches provides a holistic view of psoriasis's dynamic metabolic profiles and potential therapeutic targets. Although research on cholesterol metabolism in psoriasis is still in its infancy, omics technologies have facilitated a broader understanding of cellular components and biomolecules involved in skin inflammatory diseases. These advancements are shaping a more detailed molecular understanding of psoriasis, which is pivotal for the development of targeted therapies and improved disease management.

Cholesterol Metabolism Under Normal and Psoriatic Conditions

Cholesterol metabolism involves several processes, including absorption, biosynthesis, and transport. Under normal physiological conditions, these processes are crucial for maintaining cellular functions. However, in the context of psoriasis, immune activation disrupts skin homeostasis and cholesterol metabolism, leading to the disease's characteristic features. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-17 and IL-23, are central to the pathogenesis of psoriasis and are influenced by cholesterol metabolism.

Various mouse models have been employed to study psoriasis-like skin inflammation and the role of cholesterol metabolism in the disease. For example, hCD1Tg HJ1Tg Apoe -/- mice develop psoriasiform skin inflammation with cholesterol accumulation, making them suitable for such studies.

Dysregulation of Cholesterol Metabolism in Psoriasis

The severity of psoriasis has been correlated with increased levels of free and total cholesterol, as well as phospholipids, in the epidermis. At the molecular level, interventions aimed at reducing total cholesterol levels have shown to influence IL-17A signaling, suggesting that cholesterol accumulation is intrinsically tied to the inflammatory response in psoriasis. Moreover, HDL's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are compromised in psoriasis, leading to increased vascular inflammation.

Th17 cells and their differentiation have been associated with increased cholesterol uptake and biosynthesis. Cholesterol metabolites, both endogenous and exogenous, play a role in the development and severity of psoriatic inflammation. Studies suggest that targeting cholesterol metabolism could have therapeutic benefits in psoriasis, as seen with the use of atorvastatin in animal models.

Cholesterol Metabolism and Psoriatic Inflammation

The complexity of cholesterol metabolism and its derivatives, such as oxysterols, is evident in the development of psoriasis. Alterations in cholesterol biosynthesis pathways in immune cells suggest a significant role in initiating Th1 responses. Mouse models have been used to screen for major metabolic pathways involved in psoriasis, and interfering with these pathways has shown positive outcomes in reducing inflammation.

Therapeutic Implications and Future Directions

The impact of CETP on psoriasis is an area of ongoing research. CETP-transgenic animals show increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines after stimulation, which may contribute to the development of psoriatic lesions. Although the use of CETP inhibitors has not shown significant improvement in cardiovascular events, particularly when used with statins, their potential effects on psoriasis are yet to be explored.

In summary, the complex relationship between cholesterol metabolism and psoriasis pathogenesis underscores the potential of multi-omics approaches in elucidating these connections. As research continues to evolve, a better understanding of the molecular underpinnings of psoriasis will lead to more effective treatments and personalized care for those affected by this chronic inflammatory disease.

Psoriasis Prognosis and Cholesterol Metabolism

The prognosis of psoriasis is influenced by various factors, including the interplay between cholesterol metabolism and its associated risks. Understanding these connections is crucial for healthcare professionals to enhance the prognosis and overall well-being of individuals with psoriasis. 

Psoriasis and Cardiometabolic Complications

Epidemiological studies have consistently found that psoriasis patients often have lower HDL cholesterol levels and a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS), which is diagnosed based on a set of criteria that include abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, elevated fasting glucose, and hypertension. The presence of MS in psoriasis patients increases the risk of cardiovascular complications, with factors such as TMAO levels correlating with the severity of psoriasis and cardiovascular disease risk. Moreover, psoriasis shares common inflammatory pathways with atherosclerosis, leading to similarities in plaque development in both conditions.

Dysregulation of Cholesterol Efflux and Psoriasis Severity

Inflammatory diseases like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus are characterized by impaired cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) and increased systemic inflammation, both of which contribute to disease severity. CETP inhibitors have the potential to increase HDL-cholesterol levels by delaying the breakdown of HDL, which may influence CEC and the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis.

Changes in Cholesterol Metabolism After Treatment

Treatment of psoriasis with various therapies, such as TNF inhibitors and IL-17A monoclonal antibodies, has been shown to impact immune response pathways and cholesterol metabolism. For instance, treatment with tofacitinib resulted in slight elevations in lipid levels, but no change in HDL's cholesterol efflux capacity. These findings underscore the importance of monitoring lipid profiles and metabolism in the management of psoriasis.

Multi-Omics Research Strategies

Multi-omics research integrates various omics technologies to achieve a comprehensive understanding of biological systems and diseases like psoriasis. This holistic approach reveals genetic, epigenetic, transcriptional, protein, and metabolite-level changes associated with the condition and aids in the identification of relevant immunometabolic pathways for personalized medicine.

Omics Studies and Psoriasis

Omics studies have been critical in advancing our understanding of psoriasis and its complex pathophysiology. These studies have highlighted the importance of keratinocytes and fibroblasts as key regulators of organ-specific immune responses and have led to the discovery of novel biomarkers. For example, eQTL studies have been instrumental in modeling biological networks and interpreting genome-wide association studies (GWAS).

Genomics and Epigenomics

Genomics research has identified approximately 50–60 replicated genes associated with the risk of psoriasis, some of which are involved in lipid metabolism. Epigenomic studies have reported changes in DNA methylation patterns in psoriasis, with identified differentially methylated sites related to cholesterol pathways.

Transcriptomics and Proteomics

Transcriptomics has validated mechanisms between cholesterol biosynthesis and proinflammatory factors, while proteomics has built systemic profiles that reveal changes in the HDL proteome related to psoriasis. These studies have also identified differentially expressed proteins in skin samples, such as the downregulation of ApoE protein in psoriatic skin.

Metabolomics and Recent Multi-Omics Findings

Metabolomic research has uncovered specific lipid alterations in plasma samples of psoriasis patients. Recent multi-omics studies have enabled the identification of potential regulators and hub pathways/genes involved in the disease, offering new insights into the metabolic changes in psoriasis and aiding in diagnosis and pharmacotherapy.

Challenges and Approaches in Multi-Omics Data Integration

The integration of multi-omics data presents several challenges, including the need for computational tools and bioinformatics methods to effectively analyze and interpret the complex datasets. Techniques such as flow cytometry, FACS-based approaches, and spatial metabolomics have opened new avenues for immunometabolic studies, providing a more realistic visualization of cell–cell interactions in tissues.


The review offers a multidimensional view of how cholesterol metabolism fits into the puzzle of psoriasis pathogenesis. The summary of associated omics biomarkers and multi-omics strategies provides valuable resources for further research, emphasizing the potential of these cutting-edge approaches to inform clinical decisions and advance personalized medicine for psoriasis patients. We highly recommend to check it out!