TWEAKing Inflammation

At first glance, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis may appear similar but their commonalities are only skin deep. Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is primarily driven by an allergic reaction, while psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disease. This is why it came somewhat as a surprise when Dr. Michael Croft and his team identified a protein named TWEAK as a common driver of skin inflammation in both diseases. A drug that inactivates TWEAK already exists and could soon be tested for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.