A minimally invasive tool to study immune response and skin barrier in children with atopic dermatitis

L. Hulshof, D. P. Hack, Q. C. J. Hasnoe, B. Dontje, I. Jakasa, C. Riethmüller, W. H. I. McLean, W. M. C. van Aalderen, B. Van't Land, S. Kezic, A. B. Sprikkelman, M. A. Middelkamp-Hup (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) affects children of all skin types. Most researchhas focused on light skin types. Studies investigating biomarkers in people withAD with dark skin types are lacking.

Objectives: To explore skin barrier and immune response biomarkers in stratumcorneum (SC) tape strips from children with AD with different skin types.

Methods: Tape strips were collected from lesional and nonlesional forearm skin of53 children with AD and 50 controls. We analysed 28 immunomodulatory mediators,and natural moisturizing factors (NMF) and corneocyte morphology.

Results: Interleukin (IL)-1b, IL-18, C-X-C motif chemokine (CXCL) 8 (CXCL8),C-C motif chemokine ligand (CCL) 22 (CCL22), CCL17, CXCL10 and CCL2 weresignificantly higher (P < 005) in lesional AD skin compared with nonlesionalAD skin; the opposite trend was seen for IL-1a. CXCL8, CCL2 and CCL17showed an association with objective SCORing Atopic Dermatitis score. NMFlevels showed a gradual decrease from healthy skin to nonlesional and lesionalAD skin. This gradual decreasing pattern was observed in skin type II but not inskin type VI. Skin type VI showed higher NMF levels in both nonlesional andlesional AD skin than skin type II. Corneocyte morphology was significantly differentin lesional AD skin compared with nonlesional AD and healthy skin.

Conclusions: Minimally invasive tape-stripping is suitable for the determination ofmany inflammatory mediators and skin barrier biomarkers in children with AD.This study shows differences between children with AD with skin type II andskin type VI in NMF levels, suggesting that some aspects of pathophysiologicalmechanisms may differ in AD children with light versus dark skin types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-630
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • atopic dermatitis
  • stratum corneum analysis
  • biomarkers
  • children
  • natural moisturizing factor
  • skin barrier
  • skin type differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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