Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder characterized by abnormal neurovascular and inflammatory conditions on the central face. Despite increasing evidence suggesting that rosacea is associated with metabolic disorders, the role of metabolism in rosacea pathogenesis remains unknown. Here, via a targeted metabolomics approach, we characterized significantly altered metabolic signatures in patients with rosacea, especially for amino acid-related metabolic pathways. Among these, glutamic acid and aspartic acid were highlighted and positively correlated with the disease severity in patients with rosacea. We further demonstrated that glutamic acid and aspartic acid can facilitate the development of erythema and telangiectasia, typical features of rosacea, in the skin of mice. Mechanistically, glutamic acid and aspartic acid stimulated the production of vasodilation-related neuropeptides from peripheral neurons and keratinocytes and induced the release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells and keratinocytes. Interestingly, we provided evidence showing that doxycycline can improve the symptoms of patients with rosacea possibly by targeting the amino acid metabolic pathway. These findings reveal that abnormal amino acid metabolism promotes neurovascular reactivity in rosacea and raise the possibility of targeting dysregulated metabolism as a promising strategy for clinical treatment.
Tangxiele Liu, Wenqin Xiao, Mengting Chen, Rui Mao, Xu San, Qinqin Peng, Zhixiang Zhao, Qian Wang, Hongfu Xie, Zhili Deng, Ji Li