New therapy approach to help with eczema

Therapy with antibodies could relieve neurodermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that cannot be treated causally. Instead, the therapy is to treat the symptoms to alleviate the discomfort. Swiss researchers have now found a possible new therapeutic approach against the disease of the skin.

Severely impaired quality of life

Eczema (atopic Dermatitis, atopic eczema) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, which is associated usually with severe itching, dry, scaly, and reddened skin. “By the itching and the visible skin rashes eczema can affect the Psyche and the quality of life,” writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Although the disease can not be cured the cause, but in the past few years, been made in the treatment of the disease and partly a great success. Swiss researchers now report a new possible therapeutic approach. You have shown that the same immune cells which protect against yeast fungi that promote the inflammatory symptoms of atopic dermatitis. A therapy with antibodies could relieve the chronic skin disease.

Researchers have found a possible new therapeutic approach against atopic dermatitis. A treatment with antibodies could relieve the chronic skin disease. (Image: miamariam/

The skin is densely populated with mushrooms

The skin of humans and animals is densely populated with fungi, reports the University of Zurich (UZH) in a message.

It is believed that the small yeast-like fungi called Malassezia, along with bacteria and viruses part of the healthy microflora of the skin, strengthen the immune system and the immune system to prepare agents to meet with dangerous disease – similar to how certain bacteria do this.

Unlike bacteria, we know little about the physiological processes that keep the ever-present fungi on the skin under control.

Researchers at the University of Zurich now show that the immune system is for the balance of the skin responsible.

You were the first to demonstrate in mice and humans, the Malassezia fungi stimulate the immune system to produce the messenger substance Interleukin-17.

“Is not paid to the messenger or the Interleukin-17-producing immune cells, the absence of the fungus can grow fully and overgrown skin,” said Salomé LeibundGut-Landmann, Professor and head of the Department of immunology at the Vetsuisse faculty of the UZH.

Overreaction of the immune system

But what happens when the balance device on the body surface of the joints? There is evidence that the normally harmless Malassezia fungi play in eczema, a role.

In this skin disease it comes to an Overreaction of the immune system against antigens from the environment, such as against house dust mites.

It eczema, characterized by dry, reddened skin and severe itching, for example, in the joint bend and up to 20 percent of children and up to ten percent of the adult concern form.

Also in dogs, this allergic Dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases.

Now in the journal “Cell Host & Microbe“ published study confirmed that Interleukin-17-producing immune cells, which protect the normally the fungi and their growth in check, contributing to the development of atopic dermatitis.

The fungus is on the skin to the Allergen and causes an Overreaction of the immune system, with inflammation characteristics on the skin.

Experiments with cells of affected atopic dermatitis patients, which were carried out in collaboration with the University hospital Zurich and the ETH Zurich, under the walls of this realization.

Treatment with therapeutic antibodies

“The results of our study suggest that in atopic dermatitis therapeutic antibodies, which neutralize the effect of Interleukin-17, might be effectively used,” said the responsible author LeibundGut-Landmann.

“These antibodies already exist and are used in the treatment of psoriasis with great success.”

However, it remains to be clarified why the immune failure response against the ever-present Malassezia fungus sick, and why the normally protective immune mechanisms in atopic dermatitis patients. (ad)