Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 440

Cortisol homeostasis in the epidermis is influenced by topical corticosteroids in patients with atopic dermatitis

Tsurumai Kouen Clinic, Nakaku, Nagoya 460-0012, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Mototsugu Fukaya
Tsurumai Kouen Clinic, 5-20-6 Chiyoda, Nakaku, Nagoya 460-0012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.IJD_702_16

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Background: The skin produces cortisol by itself and regulates its own proliferation and differentiation. There is a possibility that topical corticosteroids (TCSs) influence the cortisol homeostasis in the skin. Aims and Objectives: The author described the density and distribution of cortisol and its parties in the epidermis after application of topical steroids immunohistologically. Materials and Methods: The forearm skin was biopsied before and after 2 weeks' application of clobetasol propionate 0.05% two times a day in one healthy volunteer. The biopsied skin was stained immunohistologically by ant-MLN64, StAR, CPY11A1, cortisol, HSD11B1, HSD11B2, glucocorticoid receptor alpha, glucocorticoid receptor beta (GRB), and mineralocorticoid receptor (MCR) antibodies. The skin biopsy was performed similarly in 19 adult patients with atopic dermatitis who had used TCS for a considerable period. They were 4 TCS present users (TCS+), 12 TCS nonusers with skin manifestation on the biopsied site (TCS-E+) and 3 TCS nonusers without skin manifestation on the biopsied site (TCS-E−). Results: The staining density increased during TCS application in MLN64, cortisol and HSD11B2 in a healthy volunteer. The staining density was stronger in HSD11B2 of the basal layer and MCR of the spinous layer in the TCS-E+ patients than in the TCS+ and TCS-E− patients. The staining density was weaker in MLN64 of the basal and granular layers, HSD11B1 of the basal layer and GRB of the whole layer in the TCS-E+ patients than in the TCS+ and TCS-E− patients. Conclusion: The hypertrophy of the epidermis and insufficient keratinization recognized in the TCS-E+ patients might be caused by the decreased cortisol synthesis regulated by MLN64 and the increased cortisol inactivation by HSD11B2. Decreased GRB and increased MCR might enhance the reactivity of cortisol in the keratinocytes.

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