A study to determine the effect of tacrolimus on ceramide levels in the stratum corneum of patients with atopic dermatitis

Authors

  • David Paslin MD,

    1. From the Department of Dermatology, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, and Dows Institute, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
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  • Philip Wertz PhD

    1. From the Department of Dermatology, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, and Dows Institute, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
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David Paslin, MD 460 34th Street Oakland CA 94609 USA E-mail: dpaslin@itsa.ucsf.edu

Abstract

Background  Atopic dermatitis (AD) is characterized both by inflammation and by abnormally low ceramide levels in the stratum corneum. Tacrolimus, effective in the treatment of AD, inhibits transcription and release of inflammatory cytokines operative in AD, but it is unknown if tacrolimus normalizes ceramide levels.

Methods  Stratum corneum ceramides of seven subjects with lesional AD were measured before and after treatment with tacrolimus ointment.

Results  Treatment with tacrolimus ointment did not increase the ceramide fractions toward or to normal.

Conclusion  These findings suggest that tacrolimus ointment is effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis due to its anti-inflammatory actions rather than to any restorative effect on stratum corneum ceramides.

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