Atopic dermatitis in African American patients is T H 2/T H 22-skewed with T H 1/T H 17 attenuation

Riana D. Sanyal, Ana B. Pavel, Jacob Glickman, Tom C. Chan, Xiuzhong Zheng, Ning Zhang, Inna Cueto, Xiangyu Peng, Yeriel Estrada, Judilyn Fuentes-Duculan, Andrew F. Alexis, James G. Krueger, Emma Guttman-Yassky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Background: African Americans (AA) are disproportionately impacted by atopic dermatitis (AD), with increased prevalence and therapeutic challenges unique to this population. Molecular profiling data informing development of targeted therapeutics for AD are derived primarily from European American (EA) patients. These studies are absent in AA, hindering development of effective treatments for this population. Objective: We sought to characterize the global molecular profile of AD in the skin of AA patients as compared with that of EA AD and healthy controls. Methods: We performed RNA-Seq with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction validation and immunohistochemistry studies in lesional and nonlesional skin of AA and EA AD patients vs healthy controls. Results: African American AD lesions were characterized by greater infiltration of dendritic cells (DCs) marked by the high-affinity immunoglobulin E (IgE) receptor (FcεR1+) compared with EA AD (P < .05). Both AD cohorts showed similarly robust up-regulation of Th2-related (CCL17/18/26) and Th22-related markers (interleukin [IL]-22, S100A8/9/12), but AA AD featured decreased expression of innate immune (tumor necrosis factor [TNF], IL-1β), Th1-related (interferon gamma [IFN-γ], MX1, IL-12RB1), and Th17-related markers (IL-23p19, IL-36G, CXCL1) vs EA AD (P < .05). The Th2 (IL-13) and Th22-related products (IL-22, S100A8/9/12) and serum IgE were significantly correlated with clinical severity (Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis [SCORAD]) in AA. Fillagrin (FLG) was exclusively down-regulated in EA AD, whereas loricrin (LOR) was down-regulated in both AD cohorts and negatively correlated with SCORAD in AA. Conclusion: The molecular phenotype of AA AD skin is characterized by attenuated Th1 and Th17 but similar Th2/Th22-skewing to EA AD. Our data encourages a personalized medicine approach accounting for phenotype-specific characteristics in future development of targeted therapeutics and clinical trial design for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-110.e6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Atopic dermatitis in African American patients is T H 2/T H 22-skewed with T H 1/T H 17 attenuation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this