IFN-γ is detected in chronic lesions of atopic dermatitis (AD); however, its specific role remains to be elucidated. An impaired stratum corneum barrier function is a hallmark of AD, and it is associated with a reduction in ceramides with long-chain fatty acids (FAs) in the stratum corneum. FA elongases, ELOVL1 and ELOVL4, are essential for the synthesis of these ceramides, together with ceramide synthase 3 (CerS3). We have previously shown that IFN-γ, but not other cytokines, induced the downregulation of these enzymes in cultured keratinocytes. Our aim was to investigate the in vivo role of IFN-γ in the lesional skin of AD by analyzing mouse dermatitis models. The local mRNA expression of IFN-γ increased in mite fecal antigen-induced AD-like dermatitis in NC/Nga mice but not in imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like dermatitis in BALB/c mice. The mRNA expression of ELOVL1 and ELOVL4 significantly decreased in AD-like dermatitis, whereas ELOVL1 increased in psoriasis-like dermatitis. The expression of CerS3 increased slightly in AD-like dermatitis, but it increased by 4.6-fold in psoriasis-like dermatitis. Consistently, the relative amount of ceramides with long-chain FAs decreased in AD-like dermatitis but not in psoriasis-like dermatitis. These results suggest that IFN-γ in the lesional skin may reduce ceramides with long-chain FAs by decreasing the expression of ELOVL. Thus, IFN-γ may contribute to the chronicity of AD by impairing barrier function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy