Medical scientists in the US have identified a potential rosacea treatment pathway in a cell membrane protein called TRPV4.
The scientists found a “missing link” between rosacea triggers and inflammation in mast cells. They discovered that these cells activate antimicrobial peptides called cathelicidins, which are involved in the immune response that is over-produced in people with rosacea.
The study, funded by the National Rosacea Society (NRS), found that one of the proteins in cell membranes, TRPV, facilitates communication between cells and plays a key role in activating these mast cells in people with rosacea.
Using mice bred to exhibit human-like rosacea symptoms, the scientists injected cathelicidins and saw significant increases in the production of TRPV4, and also determined that the protein regulates the inflammation caused by mast cells. This was then tested and confirmed in human mast cell cultures.
“Although more work needs to be done, these findings suggest that potential therapies may be developed specifically to block TRPV4 as a direct means of treating or preventing inflammation in patients with rosacea,” said Dr Anna Di Nardo, associate professor of medicine of the University of California San Diego and lead scientist on the team.
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