Alefacept for Palmoplantar Psoriasis

Title: Treatment of palmoplantar psoriasis with intramuscular alefacept.
Authors: Myers W, et al.
Publication: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Aug;53(2 Suppl 1):S127-9.

Alefacept is a fusion protein consisting of the extracellular CD2-binding portion of the human lymphocyte function-associated antigen-3 (LFA-3) and the Fc segment of human IgG1.

Alefacept functions by:

  • Inhibiting T cell activation and proliferation
  • Inducing apoptosis or cell death of memory effector (CD45RO+) T cells in test tube environment
  • Limiting inflammatory reaction
  • Limiting uncontrolled keratinocyte (cells that produce keratin) proliferation

Alefacept is the first biologic or drug synthesized from living organisms (in this case Chinese Hamster Ovary cells) approved in the United States for treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis.

In this report, the author reported the use of alefacept in 2 patients with extensive and treatment-resistant palmoplantar psoriasis (or psoriasis on the palms on the hands and soles of the feet). These patients achieved significant improvement on alefacept therapy.

Editor’s Note: Alefacept is an immunosuppressive protein that reduces the levels of certain white blood cells in the body, thereby reducing specific actions of the immune system that are involved in psoriasis.

T cell is a subset of white blood cells that mature in the lymphocyte. It recognizes specific antigens representing foreign bodies, and regulates the body’s immune system against it. Activation of T cells requires binding to specific substrated, which is prevented by alefacept, thereby the drug reduces T cells’ actions.

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