Lipids in the stratum corneum of atopic dermatitis (AD) patients differ substantially in composition from healthy subjects. We hypothesized that hyperactivated type 2 immune response alters AD skin lipid metabolism. We have analyzed stratum corneum lipids from nonlesional and lesional skin of AD subjects and IL-13 skin-specific Tg mice. We also directly examined the effects of IL-4/IL-13 on human keratinocytes in vitro. Mass spectrometric analysis of lesional stratum corneum from AD subjects and IL-13 Tg mice revealed an increased proportion of short-chain (N-14:0 to N-24:0) NS ceramides, sphingomyelins, and 14:0–22:0 lysophosphatidylcholines (14:0–22:0 LPC) with a simultaneous decline in the proportion of corresponding long-chain species (N-26:0 to N-32:0 sphingolipids and 24:0–30:0 LPC) when compared with healthy controls. An increase in short-chain LPC species was also observed in nonlesional AD skin. Similar changes were observed in IL-4/IL-13–driven responses in Ca2+-differentiated human keratinocytes in vitro, all being blocked by STAT6 silencing with siRNA. RNA sequencing analysis performed on stratum corneum of AD as compared with healthy subjects identified decreased expression of fatty acid elongases ELOVL3 and ELOVL6 that contributed to observed changes in atopic skin lipids. IL-4/IL-13 also inhibited ELOVL3 and ELOVL6 expression in keratinocyte cultures in a STAT6-dependent manner. Downregulation of ELOVL3/ELOVL6 expression in keratinocytes by siRNA decreased the proportion of long-chain fatty acids globally and in sphingolipids. Thus, our data strongly support the pathogenic role of type 2 immune activation in AD skin lipid metabolism.
Evgeny Berdyshev, Elena Goleva, Irina Bronova, Nathan Dyjack, Cydney Rios, John Jung, Patricia Taylor, Mingeum Jeong, Clifton F. Hall, Brittany N. Richers, Kathryn A. Norquest, Tao Zheng, Max A. Seibold, Donald Y.M. Leung
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.