Instantaneous depolarization of T cells via dopamine receptors, and inhibition of activated T cells of Psoriasis patients and inflamed human skin, by D1-like receptor agonist: Fenoldopam

Aviad Keren, Amos Gilhar, Yehuda Ullmann, Marina Zlotkin-Frušić, Yoram Soroka, Abraham J. Domb, Mia Levite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Activated T cells are pathological in various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases including Psoriasis, and also in graft rejection and graft-versus-host-disease. In these pathological conditions, selective silencing of activated T cells through physiological receptors they express remains a clinical challenge. In our previous studies we found that activation of dopamine receptors (DRs) in resting human T cells activates these cells, and induces by itself many beneficial T cell functions. In this study, we found that normal human T cells express all types of DRs, and that expression of D1R, D4R and D5R increases profoundly after T cell receptor (TCR) activation. Interestingly, DR agonists shift the membrane potential (Vm) of both resting and activated human T cells, and induces instantaneous T cell depolarization within 15 seconds only. Thus, activation of DRs in T cells depolarize these immune cells, alike activation of DRs in neural cells. The skin of Psoriasis patients contains 20-fold more D1R+ T cells than healthy human skin. In line with that, 25-fold more D1R+ T cells are present in Psoriasis humanized mouse model. Highly selective D1-like receptor agonists, primarily Fenoldopam (Corlopam) – a D1-like receptor agonist and a drug used in hypertension, induced the following suppressive effects on activated T cells of Psoriasis patients: reduced chemotactic migration towards the chemokine SDF-1/CXCL12; reduced dramatically the secretion of eight cytokines: tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10; and reduced three T cell activation proteins/markers: CD69, CD28 and IL-2. Next, we invented a novel topical/dermal Fenoldopam formulation, allowing it to be spread on, and providing prolonged and regulated release in, diseased skin. Our novel topical/dermal Fenoldopam: reduced secretion of the eight cytokines by activated human T cells; reduced IL-1β and IL-6 secretion by human lipopolysaccharide-inflamed skin; eliminated preferentially >90% of live and large/proliferating human T cells. Together, our findings show for the first time that both resting and activated T cells are depolarized instantaneously via DRs, and that targeting D1-like receptors in activated T cells and inflamed human skin by Fenoldopam, in Psoriasis, and potentially in other T cell-mediated diseases, could be therapeutic. Validation in vivo is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-193
Number of pages23
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Fenoldopam
  • Psoriasis
  • T cells
  • depolarization
  • dopamine D1-like receptors
  • dopamine receptors


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