Skinergy Dermatology | January/February 2015
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Circadian Rhythm and Skin Inflammation

Drs. Amanda K. Suggs, Jacqueline Selph, Minh Lam and Elma D. Baron are exploring how sleep disruption may impact the skin and its immune system.

The aim of the study was to understand the relationship between circadian rhythm and skin inflammation.  We investigated (a) whether acute skin inflammation from a controlled dose of UV exposure demonstrated a circadian pattern and (b) whether this was accompanied by changes in hair follicle clock gene expression

Clinical and Translational Psoriasis Research

Myeloid Biomarkers and Vascular PET-MRI during Psoriasis Treatments: Preliminary Report
A multi-disciplinary team of physicians and scientists from the Departments of Dermatology and Radiology are studying myeloid biomarkers and vascular PET-MRI during psoriasis treatments, with a focus on increased circulating monocyte aggregates in psoriasis patients.
The team includes Jackelyn B. Golden, Sarah G. Groft, Drs. Michael V. Squeri, Drs. Thomas S. McCormick, Kevin D. Cooper, Scott Santilli, Fuad Muakkassa, Prabhakar Rajiah, James K. O'Donnell, Fabrizio Galimberti, David C. Soler and Neil Korman. Preliminary data from the year-long comparative effectiveness study in psoriasis have been evaluated in preparation for the SID meeting. We describe effects of standard psoriasis therapies on white blood cell complexes and inflammation of the aorta.

Adolescent and Young Adult Cutaneous lymphomas: Clinical Spectrum and Autoimmunity

Mr. Gregory Delost, Drs. Jacqueline Selph, Ritva Vyas, Kord Honda and Kevin Cooper compared primary cutaneous lymphomas in the adolescent and young adult population (defined as ages 15-39) with the adult population and pediatric population at our institution. 106 out of 856 patients with lymphoproliferative diseases who were presented at multidisciplinary cutaneous oncology tumor board from 1996 to 2014 fell within the adolescent and young adult definition. We describe comparative clinicopathological features, autoimmune markers, and immunohistochemistry of these cases.

Melanoma in Specific Sites: Parotid Gland and the Eye

The parotid gland and its lymph nodes are common metastatic sites for these primary melanomas of the head and neck and carry a poor prognosis. However, parotid area melanoma of unknown primary is not well characterized in the literature. This study examines all cases of parotid area melanoma of unknown primary from 1973-2011 from our institution and from SEER 18 with a total of 88 cases identified. We report on clinicopathologic characteristics and overall survival in this special group of melanoma patients.  Drs. Jeffrey F. Scott, Ritva Vyas, Kord Honda, Chad Zender, Rod Rezaee, Pierre Lavertu, Henry Koon, Kevin D. Cooper and Meg R. Gerstenblith collaborated on the project.

Five percent of all primary melanomas are ocular in origin. Ocular melanomas have different biological behavior and molecular characteristics compared to cutaneous melanoma. In this study we sought to determine the characteristics of ocular melanoma at our institution. There were 51 primary ocular melanomas diagnosed by histology from 1996 to 2014. We discuss the histology, treatments and outcomes of these cases.  Drs. Ritva Vyas, Erica Gotow, Adam T. Gerstenblith, Kord Honda Kevin D. Cooper and Meg R Gerstenblith collaborated on this project.

Psoriasis and Dendritic Cells

Drs. A. Griffith, M. Hadiono, R. Davis and D. Popkin
Psoriasis is one of the most common chronic immune-mediated diseases in humans. Its origin is unknown but there is competing evidence that plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) may be a central player. Interestingly, pDC sensing requires the solute-like channel slc15a4, a protein wherein gene polymorphisms have been associated with autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and type I diabetes mellitus. We hypothesized that SLC15a4 may be required for pDC to initiate psoriasis. Using mice deficient in pDC sensing via genetic modification of SLC15a4 combined with imiquimod-induced psoriasiform skin inflammation, we determined the dependence of psoriasis on pDC cells.

Ward Lab

Work in the Ward laboratory focuses upon modeling human psoriasis and its comorbidities using genetically altered mice and advanced immunologic and genetic assessments. Dr. Ward’s laboratory is presenting several unique abstracts demonstrating that the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6) is central to the mediation of thrombosis associated with chronic skin inflammation as well as the transition from uninvolved to involved psoriasis skin. The research in Dr. Ward’s group also supports congruence among inflammatory genes in both atherosclerotic plaques and psoriatic skin. Teaming with colleagues from Emory, Drs. Ward and Arbiser are testing a topical treatment for psoriasiform-associated skin inflammation. Finally, using the genetic models, Dr. Ward’s research group tested the criticality of Substance P interaction with its receptor, neurokinin-1 as well as the expression of the chemokine receptor CCR2 in promoting skin inflammation in the KC-Tie2 mouse model of psoriasis.
Dr. Ward’s collaborators include Drs. Y. Wang, D. Simon, T. McCormick, J. Arbiser, J. Elder, J. Gudjonsson, J. Golden, Y. Fritz, Y. Li and K.Michaels, R. Nowak, M. Bonner, I. Karlsson, D. Diaconu, M. Cahmi, W. Swindell, A. Johnston, S. Ganesh, K. Gallagher, X. Xing, M. Sarkar, R. Nair.


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