Basic science studies examine nails, IL-17 inhibitor

Saturday’s four Late-breaking Research
sessions included time for attendees to ask presenters questions about their research.

Basic science studies of key factors in treating and diagnosing several dermatologic diseases were presented Saturday during “Late-breaking Research: Basic Science/Cutaneous Oncology/Pathology” (F085).

Dermatologists not examining nails for signs of SM
Examination of the nails can be a key factor in diagnosing subungual melanoma (SM), but many dermatologists do not check nails during physical examinations, according to “A Survey-Based Study of Management of Longitudinal Melanonychia Among Attending and Resident Dermatologists,” Abstract 5049.

“Our data reinforce the need for increased efforts in educating dermatologists, particularly residents, about nail examinations, longitudinal melanonychia (LM), and warning signs for SM,” said Shari Lipner, MD, PhD, during the study presentation. She is an assistant professor at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Subungual melanoma represents 0.7-3.5 percent of melanoma cases, but it often carries a worse prognosis than similarly staged cutaneous melanomas. LM is the most common presenting sign of SM, according to the abstract.

A nationwide survey was used to assess nail examinations, management of LM, and knowledge of the ABC mnemonic for SM among dermatologists. The survey found that most dermatologists did not ask patients to remove nail polish during all physical examinations or examine the nails at each visit, according to the abstract.

The study also showed that many physicians, particularly residents, were not confident in managing patients with LM.

PKCbeta plays a role in modulating dermal microenvironment
Obesity aggravates many skin diseases, including psoriasis, cellulitis, and fungal infection. Despite knowledge that dermal adipocytes are associated with the skin microenvironment, diet- or obesity-induced signaling changes in adipocytes and their impact on cutaneous pathophysiology are not well understood.

“Diet-Sensitive PKCbeta Signaling and Development Inflammation in Skin Microenvironment,” Abstract 5153, reported that the results of its study suggest that PKCbeta is a physiological transducer of dietary lipids and plays a critical role in modulating dermal inflammatory microenvironment.

The abstract also reported that PKCbeta deficiency is also associated with an improvement in the dermal adipocyte inflammation as well as texture and density of the skin hair.

Topical compound reduces IL-17 levels in study
A topical compound shows promise in improving skin histopathology and in reducing IL-17 levels, which could be used in the treatment of psoriasis.

“Aurigene’s RORγ inverse agonist lead compound has shown a good safety profile as well as efficacy comparable to the IL-17 antibody in IMQ-induced psoriasis model,” said Kavitha Nellore, PhD, associate research director at Aurigene Discovery Technologies. She presented “Efficacy of RORγ Inverse Agonists in Imiquimod-Induced Psoriasis Model With Both Oral and Topical Administration,” Abstract 5306.

RORγ is a nuclear hormone receptor that controls the differentiation of Th17 cells that play a key pro-inflammatory role in a variety of autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, according to the abstract.

The study has identified potent inhibitors of RORγ with greater than 100-fold selectivity against RORγ/RORγ as well as other nuclear receptors. Lead compounds inhibit differentiation of primary mouse/human CD4+ve T cells to Th17 cells without affecting Th1, Th2, or Treg cell differentiation.

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