Universiteit Leiden

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PhD Thesis: Development of human skin equivalents to unravel the impaired skin barrier in atopic dermatitis skin

Recently, the PhD thesis of Lolu Danso Eweje appeared entitled ’Development of human skin equivalents to unravel the impaired skin barrier in atopic dermatitis skin’.

AD skin shows an impaired skin barrier function that facilitates the penetration of allergens into the skin and possibly provoke an immune response. The lipids in the skin are important for a proper skin barrier function.

Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin disease affecting between 15-20% of the children in Western Europe. The work described in the thesis shows a change in expression of several enzymes involved in the lipid biosynthesis in AD skin. These changes in expression are related to  changes in the lipid composition. As almost no information was present about the underlying factors  playing a role in these alterations, studies have been performed with AD Human Skin Equivalents (AD-HSEs), that are a 3-dimensional skin models cultured from skin cells.  

The results obtained with these models show that inflammation plays a pivotal role in the altered expression of enzymes involved in lipid biosynthesis, the changes in lipid composition and several other features characteristic for AD skin. These AD-HSEs can serve as a tool to screen potential drugs and formulations to treat AD patients.

Lolu defended her thesis on September 1.

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