Study suggests potential new treatment for debilitating skin disease

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a method of reducing the inflammatory response of immune cells in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa

Max Ryan

September 27, 2023

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  • Inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome reduces inflammation in the skin of patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), an Irish study has demonstrated.

    New research from Trinity College Dublin has identidied significantly increased numbers of proinflammatory immune cells in skin samples collected from patients with the debilitating skin disease. These included Th17 cells, B cells, plasma cells and neutrophils.

    This suggests a potential new target for treating the condition, according to the study's lead author Dr Barry Moran, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.

    When researchers analysed the gene profiles of thousands of these individual cells, they noted genes and pathways associated with inflammation-associated Th17 cells, cytokines IL-17 and IL-1β, and the inflammation complex known as the NLRP3 inflammasome, were enhanced in HS skin, particularly in samples with a high inflammatory load. 

    The research also shows that blocking this NLRP3 inflammasome with a small molecule inhibitor significantly reduced the secretion of key inflammatory mediators in HS skin samples.

    The research was published recently in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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