Content » Vol 101, February

Investigative Report

Metabolomic Analysis of Skin Biopsies from Patients with Atopic Dermatitis Reveals Hallmarks of Inflammation, Disrupted Barrier Function and Oxidative Stress

Liis Ilves, Aigar Ottas, Bret Kaldvee, Kristi Abram, Ursel Soomets, Mihkel Zilmer, Viljar Jaks, Külli Kingo
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3766


The main objectives of this study were to characterize the metabolomic profile of lesional skin of patients with atopic dermatitis, and to compare it with non- lesional skin of patients with atopic dermatitis and skin of controls with no dermatological disease. Skin-punch biopsies were collected from 15 patients and 17 controls. Targeted analysis of 188 metabolites was conducted. A total of 77 metabolites and their ratios were found, which differed significantly between lesional skin of atopic dermatitis, non-lesional skin of atopic dermatitis and skin of controls. The metabolites were members of the following classes: amino acids, biogenic amines, acylcarnitines, sphingomyelins or phosphatidylcholines, and the most significant differences be­tween the groups compared were in the concentrations of putrescine, SM.C26.0 and SM.C26.1. The alterations in metabolite levels indicate inflammation, impaired barrier function, and susceptibility to oxidative stress in atopic skin.


Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that has a significant impact on patients’ lives. Our research group is interested in finding biomarkers characteristic of atopic dermatitis, in order to gain new information about the pathophysiology of the disease, and to find novel and effective treatment options in the future. This study compared lesional and non-lesional skin of patients with atopic dermatitis and skin of controls, and conducted an analysis to find differences between the composition of metabolites in these groups. A total of 77 metabolites and their ratios were found, which differed statistically significantly between the 3 phenotypic groups.

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