Filaggrin, coded by FLG, is the main source of several major components of natural moisturizing factor (NMF) in the stratum corneum (SC), including pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA) and urocanic acid (UCA). Loss-offunction mutations in FLG lead to reduced levels of filaggrin degradation products in the SC. It has recently been suggested that expression of filaggrin may additionally be influenced by the atopic inflammatory response. In this study, we investigated the levels of several breakdown products of filaggrin in the SC in healthy controls (CTRL) and patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) in relation to FLG null allele status. We examined the relationship between NMF (defined here as the sum of PCA and UCA) and AD severity.
The SC levels of filaggrin degradation products including PCA, UCA, histidine (HIS) and tyrosine were determined in 24 CTRL and 96 patients with moderate-to-severe AD. All subjects were screened for 11 FLG mutations relevant for the study population.
The levels of PCA, UCA and HIS correlated with FLG genotype. Furthermore, these levels were higher in the CTRL when compared to AD patients with no FLG mutations. Multiple regression analysis showed that NMF levels were independently associated with FLG genotype and severity of disease.
Decreased NMF is a global feature of moderate-to-severe AD; within AD, FLG genotype is the major determinant of NMF, with disease severity as a secondary modifier. NMF components are reliably determined by a noninvasive and relatively inexpensive tape stripping technique.
- 2-pyrrolidone-5-carboxylic acid
- FLG gene mutations
- natural moisturizing factor
- urocanic acid
- PYRROLIDONE CARBOXYLIC-ACID
- NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACTOR
- SKIN BARRIER FUNCTION
- UROCANIC ACID
- PROFILAGGRIN GENE