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Biomarkers Predictive of Atopic Dermatitis Susceptibility

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Tech ID: 17-06

Atopic disease is characterized by a typical sequence of allergic responses and clinical symptoms which may appear early in life, persist over years or decades and often do not remit spontaneously with age.  Allergic diseases often begin early in life, and include atopic dermatitis (AD), food allergy, asthma and allergic rhinitis.  AD is a complex chronic inflammatory skin disease with a genetic predisposition that affects nearly 17% of children and can persist into adulthood.  With the exception of dry skin, no clinical symptoms are usually detectable at birth.  There have been limited advances in understanding the mechanisms underlying AD in children because skin-based studies require invasive skin biopsies. Current treatment are not curative, and there is considerable interest in finding approaches to prevent AD as well as other allergic diseases, including strategies to improve skin barrier or downregulate the type 2 allergic immune response. To establish a primary prevention and/or treatment strategy for allergic diseases, it is important to identify biomarkers that can predict the occurrence of the disease. 


Dr. Leung and his research group identified changes in the lipid composition of patients nonlesional skin. The lipid changes identified by the inventors may account for reduced skin barrier function including increased transepidermal water loss and higher predisposition to bacterial colonization. Using a tape stripping method, they demonstrated that the content and/or level of several skin epidermal lipids can be used as biomarkers predictive of AD development.


Potential Applications
Diagnostic for prediction of increased susceptibility to AD and targeted approaches to allergic disease in children and adults. 


State of Development
Additional skin tape stripping studies will be needed to validate these biomarkers as predictors of AD development.



  • Berdyshev E, Goleva E, Bronova I, Rios C, Dyjack N, Wesoloska-Andersen A, Seibold MA, Leung DYM. Lipid abnormalities associated with skin lesions in atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017;139(2):AB87

  • Goleva E, Berdyshev E, Bronova I, Hall CF, Richers BN, Leung DYM. Th2 cytokines and IL-17 have distinct effects of sphingolipid metabolism in differentiated primary human keratinocytes. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017;139(2):AB272


Patent Status
International patents pending.


Donald Leung, MD, PhD, Elena Goleva, Ph.D. and Evgeny Berdyshev, Ph.D.


Licensing Status
This technology is available for licensing.


For Further Information, Contact:
Emmanuel Hilaire, PhD
Technology Transfer Office
National Jewish Health
1400 Jackson Street, Room M206b
Denver, CO 80206
Voice: 303.398.1262
Fax: 303.270.2352