Cellular and molecular immunological process in neurodermatitis patients

On the occasion of the third Global Allergy Forum Davos, the CK-CARE directors together with a group of internationally leading researchers from the field of allergic skin diseases, compiled an article which concentrates particularly on innovative developments in neurodermatitis and was recently published in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. The journal dedicated the cover page of that edition to the subject of neurodermatitis (picture; Werfel et al., 2016: 138: 336-349).

The article tackles the following topics: skin barrier in neurodermatitis, neurodermatitis subgroups, personalised medicine, microbiomes, changes in the immune response, allergen-specific IgE antibodies, mechanisms of itching, allergens and other environmental factors and diagnosis and treatment.

There is a considerable, unmet medical need to define immunological endotypes of neurodermatitis because these have significant repercussions for the forthcoming stratification of the phenotype of neurodermatitis and the resulting, targeted therapies in the development of personalised medicine. Studies on novel biological agents, which have been used in the treatment of neurodermatitis, are also presented in this review. The clinical efficacy of new immunological approaches using biological agents in patients with neurodermatitis is proved by the use of dupilumap (an antibody that blocks recognition of IL-4). A number of studies with other pharmaceuticals that specifically target the immune system players are currently underway. Such approaches might have immunomodulatory and hence positive clinical effects on the general condition of the skin, as well as on the underlying immune discrepancy, which play a role in concurrent diseases. The effect of these immunological treatments on the disturbed microbiome in neurodermatitis patients and in itching might yield other potentially positive knowledge of use for treatment purposes.

Annual Report CK-CARE 2023

CK-CARE’s work has global resonance and, thanks to this strong position, significant projects in clinical allergy research were again launched or catalysed in the reporting year. CK-CARE’s working methods were sharpened in terms of medical translation and a strengthening of research capacities on the medical campus in Davos was defined in order to increase CK-CARE’s performance.

Annual Report 2023

CK-CARE’s work now has global resonance and, thanks to this strong position, significant projects in clinical allergy research were again launched or catalysed in the reporting year. CK-CARE’s working methods were sharpened in terms of medical translation and a strengthening of research capacities on the medical campus in Davos was defined in order to increase CK-CARE’s performance.

Kühne-Foundation Annual Report 2023

“Entrepreneurial success should go hand in hand with the promotion of  the common good. The Kühne Foundation fulfills this task. With a variety of programs and projects, the founder and the Kühne Foundation also assume their socio-political responsibility.”

The activities were significantly expanded, particularly in the area of logistics. In addition, the new focus area of climate action was established, and the first projects were launched.

Prof. Dr. h.c. Klaus-Michael Kühne

 

How flexible are neutrophils to opposing signaling?

Paola Martinez Murillo a postdoctoral researcher in Pierre-Yves Mantel’s group from CK-CARE obtained a Spark grant from the SNSF to investigate the effect of opposite signals on neutrophil biology in atopic dermatitis.

Spark is a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) funding scheme aiming to support projects that show unconventional thinking and introduce a unique approach. The Spark is highly competitive and supports projects based on promising ideas of high originality. CK-CARE was recognized as an eligible institution in June 2023 by the SNSF, opening new funding opportunities for the CK-CARE researchers.

This project aims to understand how two opposing signals: eczema dysregulated immune environment (Th2 response) and bacterial colonization (Th1 response) impact neutrophils function.

Neutrophils are tiny but powerful immune cells in our blood that fight off bacteria and viruses. They live for only 2-3 days and can quickly respond to infections. Neutrophils can adapt to different situations thanks to their genetic instructions (RNA). Our body’s reversible changes in reading DNA, called epigenomic modifications, are crucial for a functional immune response.

Eczema, a chronic skin condition, happens when various factors like genetics, skin damage, and immune reactions go haywire. People with eczema have neutrophils that do not work as well in fighting bacteria, making them more prone to infections.

This study addresses a knowledge gap in neutrophil adaptation to an allergic milieu, by evaluating neutrophil adaptation to anti-bacterial response in a type 2 immune response dominated context such as atopic dermatitis using transcriptional and epigenomic profiling along with comprehensive analysis of neutrophil functionality (netosis, phagocytosis, ROS-production, bactericidal activity, chemotaxis). Building upon in-vitro stimulation insights, then we will aim for a comprehensive analysis of neutrophil functionality in atopic dermatitis patients treated or not with Dupilumab.

Environmental exposure and sensitization patterns in a Swiss alpine pediatric cohort

The level of environmental exposure throughout life may contribute to the prevalence of allergic sensitization and allergic disease. The alpine climate has been considered a healthy climate with little allergen exposure and pollution. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate local environmental exposure and concomitant prevalence of allergic sensitization among local school children born and raised in an alpine environment.

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Spatial transcriptomics combined with single-cell RNA-sequencing unravels the complex inflammatory cell network in atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder affecting up to 3%–5% of adults and 20% of children worldwide. The pathophysiology of AD involves various factors including host genetics, altered skin barrier function, and immunological abnormalities.