An important feature of the inflammation in atopic dermatitis (and in the other ‘atopic’ disorders, such as asthma) is the overproduction of ‘bad’ cytokines, such as interleukin 4 (IL-4), by a subgroup of Th2-type lymphocytes. After secretion from Th2 cells, IL-4 percolates up into the epidermis where it decreases the production of both lipids and proteins that are critical for normal barrier function (see our recent series of articles on atopic dermatitis for more information on the link between the barrier and Th2 cytokines).
One would anticipate, therefore, that if one could block the actions of IL-4, the dermatitis might improve. This is just what Lisa Beck’s group at the University of Rochester reported at the recent IID meeting in Edinburgh. [Read more…] about Highlights of the IID 2013. Part 2: Promising New Drug for Atopic Dermatitis