Those who suffer from severe skin allergies may suffer from a deficiency in structural cells within their skin, according to researchers from Northwestern University.
Researchers examined two families, one with no signs of skin allergies and one possessing the genetic trait. They found that the family genetically predisposed to skin allergies, which they classified as "severe dermatitis, multiple allergies, and metabolic wasting," or SAM, were slightly to entirely deficient in a molecule called desmoglein 1.
"Desmoglein 1 is best understood as the 'glue' that holds the outer layer of human skin together," said lead researcher Kathleen Green. "Historically, the molecule was mainly believed to have a structural role: this adhesion between cells contributes to the physical barrier that regulates water loss and also acts as the body's major defense against environmental elements."
She added: "But there are a large number of molecules that form this barrier, distributed in a highly-patterned manner, prompting our team to hypothesize that they do more than just mediate adhesion."
by RTT Staff Writer
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