Serum Clusterin Levels in Children with Atopic Dermatitis Suggest Potential New Molecule Target

Researchers have reported that higher serum clusterin levels in children may be linked with atopic dermatitis symptom severity.

Until now, serum clusterin levels were not evaluated as a marker related to atopic dermatitis (AD); in an attempt to determine whether there may indeed be a correlation, researchers conducted a study that assessed serum clusterin levels in children with AD. Previously, according to study authors, clusterin “has been studied as a marker to assess inflammatory diseases,” but atopic dermatitis, also an inflammatory disease, has been notably excluded. Their results were published in the July/August 2016 issue of Allergy and Asthma Proceedings.

The study involved 140 children, 100 of whom had AD. The children ranged in age from 1.3 to 8.4 years, and 69% were boys. Each child with AD was assessed with the SCORAD (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis) tool to register the severity of their symptoms. To control for inflammation caused by other agents, “total serum immunoglobulin E and specific immunoglobulin E levels against egg whites, cow's milk, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, and Dermatophagoides farinae were measured.”

Serum clusterin was determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. The results spoke clearly to a correlation between higher clusterin levels and more severe AD symptoms. According to the researchers, “The mean (standard deviation) clusterin level of children with AD was higher than that in the healthy control group children (148.13 ± 4.3 pg/mL versus 144.85 ± 5.1 pg/mL; p = 0.001). Serum clusterin levels were correlated with the SCORAD index (r = 0.327, p = 0.002).”

These findings shed new light on a contributing factor to atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory and chronic skin disease that can cause considerable discomfort for those affected. Future research should likely focus on serum clusterin, which “may be a candidate molecule that reflects AD and its severity.”