Research ArticleSKIN

Humidity-regulated CLCA2 protects the epidermis from hyperosmotic stress

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Science Translational Medicine  09 May 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 440, eaao4650
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao4650

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Humidity—Harbinger of health?

Low environmental humidity can aggravate symptoms of atopic dermatitis (AD), an inflammatory skin disease. Seltmann et al. investigated the link between humidity and epidermal barrier function. Using a mouse model that exhibits AD-like symptoms, they found that high humidity reduced epidermal thickness and skin inflammation. Chloride channel accessory 2 protein was highly expressed in keratinocytes in response to hyperosmotic stress, and it increased cell-cell adhesions and protected cells from apoptosis. This osmoregulated protein was up-regulated in skin samples from patients with AD, which suggests a compensatory mechanism to maintain epidermal barrier function.