Vascular inflammation in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis is associated with enhanced Th2 response

Axel P. Villani, Ana B. Pavel, Jianni Wu, Marie Fernandes, Catherine Maari, Etienne Saint-Cyr Proulx, Carolyn Jack, Jacob Glickman, Seulah Choi, Helen He, Benjamin Ungar, Yeriel Estrada, Naoya Kameyama, Ning Zhang, Juana Gonzales, Jean Claude Tardif, James G. Krueger, Robert Bissonnette, Emma Guttman-Yassky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: In atopic dermatitis (AD), some studies have shown an association with increased cardiovascular disease in certain populations. However, other investigations found modest or no association. Despite conflicting results, molecular profiling studies in both AD skin and blood have demonstrated upregulation of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk-related markers. However, the underlying mechanisms connecting AD to vascular inflammation/atherosclerosis are unknown. In this study, we aim to determine factors associated with vascular inflammation/atherosclerosis in AD patients. Methods: We used 18-FDG PET-CT to characterize vascular inflammation in AD patients and healthy subjects. In parallel, we assessed their skin and blood immune profiles to determine AD-related immune biomarkers associated with vascular inflammation. We also assessed levels of circulating microparticles, which are known to be associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Results: We found significant correlations between vascular inflammation and Th2-related products in skin and blood of AD patients as well as atherosclerosis-related markers that were modulated by dupilumab. Circulating levels of endothelial microparticles were significantly higher in severe AD patients and tended to correlate with vascular inflammation assessed by PET-CT. Conclusion: Vascular inflammation in AD is associated with enhanced Th2 response and clinical severity, which may explain cardiovascular comorbidities observed in select AD populations. Larger prospective studies are needed to further evaluate vascular inflammation and cardiovascular events and mortality in AD patients. Finally, as dupilumab treatment demonstrated significant modulation of atherosclerosis-related genes in AD patients compared to placebo, these data suggest that modulation of vascular inflammation with systemic treatment should be explored in patients with AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3107-3121
Number of pages15
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • atherosclerosis
  • atopic dermatitis
  • cardiovascular
  • microparticles
  • vascular inflammation


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