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

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.