HealthDay News — Alitretinoin treatment aids in normalizing expression of barrier genes and proteins in patients with chronic hand eczema (CHE), according to a study published online August 2 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Vandana Kumari, PhD, from Charit é Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and colleagues assessed the effect of 30mg/day of alitretinoin on 15 patients with CHE treated for up to 27 weeks. Disease severity was measured with a clinical score. Skin biopsies were analyzed before and after therapy for the expression of Ki-67, various skin barrier genes, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry.

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The researchers found that the majority of patients had improvement in clinical severity with alitretinoin treatment. There was a significant increase in Ki-67-positive cells in the suprabasal layer and a dysregulated expression of various skin barrier genes (claudin 1, loricrin, filaggrin and cytokeratin 10) seen in skin biopsies before treatment, which normalized after treatment. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin was significantly upregulated, but also normalized after treatment.

“The change in expression levels of these genes correlated with the clinical efficacy, suggesting that alitretinoin exhibits a disease-modifying activity,” the authors write.

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