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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 May 2021 - 4 Jun 2021

Human Studies


2021 May 27

Sci Rep



Transcriptomic analysis of atopic dermatitis in African Americans is characterized by Th2/Th17-centered cutaneous immune activation.


Wongvibulsin S, Sutaria N, Kannan S, Alphonse M P, Belzberg M, Williams KA, Brown ID, Choi J, Roh Y S, Pritchard T, Khanna R, Eseonu AC, Jedrych J, Dillen C, Kwatra MM, Chien AL, Archer N, Garza LA, Dong X, Kang S, et al.
Sci Rep. 2021 May 27; 11(1):11175.
PMID: 34045476.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) often presents more severely in African Americans (AAs) and with greater involvement of extensor areas. To investigate immune signatures of AD in AAs with moderate to severe pruritus, lesional and non-lesional punch biopsies were taken from AA patients along with age-, race-, and sex-matched controls. Histology of lesional skin showed psoriasiform dermatitis and spongiotic dermatitis, suggesting both Th2 and Th17 activity. Gene Set Variation Analysis showed upregulation of Th2 and Th17 pathways in both lesional versus non-lesional and lesional versus control (p < 0.01), while Th1 and Th22 upregulation were observed in lesional versus control (p < 0.05). Evidence for a broad immune signature also was supported by upregulated Th1 and Th22 pathways, and clinically may represent greater severity of AD in AA. Furthermore, population-level analysis of data from TriNetX, a global federated health research network, revealed that AA AD patients had higher values for CRP, ferritin, and blood eosinophils compared to age-, sex-, and race-matched controls as well as white AD patients, suggesting broad systemic inflammation. Therefore, AA AD patients may feature broader immune activation than previously thought and may derive benefit from systemic immunomodulating therapies that modulate key drivers of multiple immune pathways.