Purpose: There is increasing epidemiological evidence of an association between childhood obesity and atopic dermatitis, but little is known about the underlying mechanism(s). In the present study, we used a rat model of atopic dermatitis to assess whether juvenile obesity, induced by reduction of litter size, aggravated the signs of atopic dermatitis and, if so, whether this aggravation was associated with changes in plasma concentration of adipokines, such as leptin and adiponectin. Methods: Dermatitis was induced by neonatal capsaicin treatment. Body weight, dermatitis score, serum IgE, skin nerve growth factor (NGF), serum leptin and adiponectin, and cytokine mRNA expression in the skin lesion were compared between small (SL, 5 pups) and large litters (LL, 15 pups). Results: The body weight of juvenile rats up to 6 weeks of age was significantly heavier in the SL group, compared with those in the LL group. The SL group showed more robust development of dermatitis, and higher levels of serum IgE and skin NGF than the LL group. Additionally, the SL group demonstrated higher levels of leptin and pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA but lower levels of adiponectin than the LL group. Conclusions: These results suggest a causal link between a decrease in immunological tolerance, induced by juvenile obesity, and aggravation of atopic dermatitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine