Navigation Links
Researchers discover genetic basis for eczema, new avenue to therapies
Date:12/21/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. Researchers at Oregon State University today announced the discovery of an underlying genetic cause of atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema most common in infancy that also affects millions of adults around the world with dry, itchy and inflamed skin lesions.

The findings were just published in PLoS ONE, a professional journal, and may set the stage for new therapeutic approaches to this frustrating syndrome, which is difficult to treat and has no known cure. Eczema is also related to, and can sometimes cause asthma, a potentially deadly immune dysfunction.

Pharmaceutical scientists at OSU found in laboratory studies that eczema can be triggered by inadequate Ctip2, a protein and master regulator that affects other genetic functions. They have identified two ways in which improper function of Ctip2 can lead to eczema.

In a recent publication, they found that Ctip2 controls lipid biosynthesis in the skin, the fats that are needed to help keep skin healthy and hydrated. In the new study, they discovered that Ctip2 suppresses TSLP, a cytokine protein produced by skin cells that can trigger inflammation.

Levels of this inflammatory TSLP, which is ordinarily undetectable in human skin, were found to be 1,000 times higher in laboratory animals that had been genetically modified to have no Ctip2 production in their skin.

"In these studies, we've basically shown that inadequate Ctip2 is reducing the lipids in skin that it needs to stay healthy, protect itself and perform its function," said Arup Indra, an associate professor in the OSU College of Pharmacy. "At the same time this can allow unwanted formation of proteins that trigger inflammation. The skin's ability to resist inflammation is going down just as the amount of inflammation is going up, and the underlying reason is that Ctip2 is not doing its job."

"Either or both of these problems can lead to eczema," Indra said.

Atopic dermatitis is associated with a dysfunctional immune response, but researchers have never understood the underlying cause. Existing treatments use moisturizers to try to protect skin, and in difficult cases powerful steroid drugs can help, but they often have significant unwanted side effects, especially in long-term use.

"With a better understanding of just what is causing eczema on a genetic basis, we should be able to personalize treatments, determine exactly what each person needs, and develop new therapies," Indra said. "This might be with topical compounds that increase Ctip2 expression in skin cells, or customized treatments to restore an individual person's lipid profile. In the future, systemic epigenetic modification might even be possible."

The creation at OSU of the laboratory model to study this issue is also of considerable importance, Indra said. There's evidence it could be used to screen for drugs with potent anti-inflammatory activities.

Eczema is a persistent skin rash that can be fairly common in infants or youth, which some research indicates may be linked to food or pollen allergens. Most people outgrow it as they reach adulthood, but some suffer from the debilitating condition their entire life.

"Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and one of the most important," Indra said. "It's our first barrier of defense, is in a constant battle against external insults, is influenced by both genetics and the environment, and has to be finely tuned to do many jobs. In eczema, this process begins to break down."

Eczema allows significant loss of fluids through the skin, allows allergens to penetrate, and in severe cases can cause a systemic inflammatory response.


'/>"/>
Contact: Arup Indra
arup.indra@oregonstate.edu
541-737-5775
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Thomas Jefferson University researchers discover new pathways that drive metastatic prostate cancer
2. Carin Görings remains identified by researchers at Uppsala University
3. CNIO researchers develop new databases for understanding the human genome
4. 3 Johns Hopkins researchers named AAAS Fellows
5. Leibniz Prizes 2013: DFG honors 11 outstanding researchers
6. Researchers and company from Luxembourg awarded a grant from Michael J. Fox Foundation
7. Researchers find new culprit in castration-resistant prostate cancer
8. ASU researchers propose new way to look at the dawn of life
9. New geometries: Researchers create new shapes of artificial microcompartments
10. UGA researchers find algal ancestor is key to how deadly pathogens proliferate
11. Researchers identify new components of the epigenetic code for honey bee development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2016)... -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil ... investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after exhaustive ... the final acceptance by all three (3) Department ... (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts for ... October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless device ...
(Date:6/9/2016)...  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the ... employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University ... (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will be ... correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing ... then be employed to support the design of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority ... as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use ... height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Mass. , June 23, 2016   ... development of novel compounds designed to target cancer ... napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from ... the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction ... stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. ... test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI ... stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate ...
Breaking Biology Technology: