Transcriptomic Profiling of Tape-Strips From Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis Patients Treated With Dupilumab

Daniela Mikhaylov, Ester Del Duca, Caroline Meyer Olesen, Helen He, Jianni Wu, Benjamin Ungar, Yeriel Estrada, Ning Zhang, Mashkura Chowdhury, Maja Lisa Clausen, James G. Krueger, Ana B. Pavel, Tove Agner, Emma Guttman-Yassky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background Tape-strips are a minimally invasive approach to characterize skin biomarkers in atopic dermatitis (AD). However, they have not yet been used for tracking gene expression changes with systemic treatment. Objective The aim of the study was to evaluate gene expression changes and therapeutic response biomarkers in AD patients before and after dupilumab (interleukin 4Rα antibody) treatment using tape-strips to obtain epidermal tissue for analysis. Methods Lesional and nonlesional tape-stripped skin was sampled from 18 AD patients before and after dupilumab treatment and from 17 healthy subjects and analyzed by RNA-seq. Results At baseline, we detected 6745 and 4859 differentially expressed genes between lesional and nonlesional skin versus normal, respectively, whereas 841 and 977 genes were differentially expressed after treatment, respectively (fold change >1.5 and false discovery rate <0.05). Tape-strips captured significant modulation with dupilumab in key AD immune (eg, C-C motif chemokine ligand 13 [CCL13], CCL17, CCL18) and barrier (eg, periplakin, FA2H) biomarkers. Changes in biomarkers (CCL20, interleukin 34, FABP7) were also significantly correlated with clinical disease improvements (Eczema Area and Severity Index; R > 0.5 or R < -0.4, P < 0.05). Conclusions This real-life study represents the first comprehensive RNA-seq molecular profiling of tape-strips from moderate to severe AD patients after dupilumab therapy. Analysis of tape strip specimens detected significant gene expression changes in key AD biomarkers with dupilumab treatment, suggesting that this approach may be useful to monitor therapeutic responses in inflammatory skin diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S71-S80
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021


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