Monomethylfumarate affects polarization of monocyte-derived dendritic cells resulting in down-regulated Th1 lymphocyte responses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Psoriasis vulgaris, a type-1 cytokine-mediated chronic skin disease, can be treated successfully with fumaric acid esters (FAE). Beneficial effects of this medication coincided with decreased production of IFN-γ. Since dendritic cells (DC) regulate the differentiation of T helper (Th) cells, this study focussed on effects of monomethylfumarate (MMF, bioactive metabolite of FAE) on polarization of monocyte-derived DC. MMF-incubated, lipopolysaccharide-stimulated DC (MMF-DC) produced dramatically (p<0.05) reduced levels of IL-12p70 and IL-10 (8±4% and 20±4%, respectively) compared to control DC. MMF-DC were mature. MMF affected polarization of DC irrespective of polarization factor(s) and ligands for the various Toll-like receptors used. Coculture of MMF-DC with naive and primed allogenous Th cells resulted in lymphocytes producing less IFN-γ, i.e. 59% and 54% of that by the respective Th cells cocultured with control DC. IL-4 production by primed, but not naive Th cells cocultured with MMF-DC was decreased as compared to cocultures with control DC. IL-10 production by naive and primed Th cells cocultured with MMF-DC and control DC did not differ. In addition, MMF inhibited LPS-induced NF-κB activation in DC. Together, beneficial effects of FAE in psoriasis involve modulation of DC polarization by MMF such that these cells down-regulate IFN-γ production by Th cells.


  • Nicolle H R Litjens
  • Mirjam Rademaker
  • Bep Ravensbergen
  • Delphine Rea
  • Mariena J A van der Plas
  • Bing Thio
  • Andrew Walding
  • Jaap T. van Dissel
  • Peter H. Nibbering
External organisations
  • Leiden University Medical Centre
  • Erasmus University Medical Center
  • AstraZeneca, UK
Research areas and keywords


  • Cytokines, Dendritic cells, Fumarates, Lymphocytes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-575
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes