Topical treatment with SPHINGOLIPIDS and GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS for canine atopic dermatitis

Rosanna Marsella, Sergi Segarra, Kim Ahrens, Cristina Alonso, Lluís Ferrer i Caubet

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Skin barrier dysfunction plays a key role in atopic dermatitis (AD). This impairment is related to altered composition and metabolism of epidermal sphingolipids and a deficiency of ceramides. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and especially hyaluronic acid, could be useful in the management of AD. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a novel topical treatment consisting of sphingolipids and GAGs extracts in dogs with AD. This formulation is different from previously tested products because the sphingolipid extract contained high amounts of sphingomyelin, a precursor of ceramides, and this has been shown to enhance endogenous synthesis of ceramides and to increase lamellar-related structures in vitro. Thus, it was hypothesized that this formulation could improve clinical disease and skin barrier function in patients with AD. Twelve house dust mite (HDM) allergic atopic beagle dogs were randomized into two groups: control (n = 6; no treatment) or treatment (n = 6; topical sphingolipids and GAGs twice weekly for 8 weeks). Dogs were challenged with allergen twice weekly and the severity of dermatitis was scored using the canine atopic dermatitis and extent severity index (CADESI-03) once weekly. Skin barrier function (measurement of transepidermal water loss) and severity of pruritus (both pruritus visual analog scale [PVAS] and pruritus timed episodes) were assessed at 0, 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. Assessments were done by personnel unaware of group allocation. Complete blood count, serum biochemistry and stratum corneum (SC) lipidomics analyses were done at baseline and at week 8. Compared to baseline, significant increases in CADESI (P = 0.0003) and PVAS (P = 0.041) were observed only in the control group, and SC polyunsaturated fatty acids increased significantly only with treatment (P = 0.039). Compared to control, treatment group had a significantly lower CADESI after 1 week (P = 0.0078) and a significantly lower PVAS after 8 weeks (P = 0.0448). Treatment was well tolerated. In this study in dogs with AD, a new topical formulation containing sphingomyelin-rich sphingolipids plus GAGs extracts attenuated the clinical worsening induced by HDM, supporting its use in atopic patients, either as an adjunctive treatment or used as monotherapy in certain cases.
Idioma originalEnglish
RevistaBMC Veterinary Research
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2020


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