Doctoral defence: Liis Ilves "Metabolomic profiling of chronic inflammatory skin diseases"

On November 3 at 12.00 Liis Ilves will defend her thesis “Metabolomic profiling of chronic inflammatory skin diseases”.

Professor Külli Kingo, University of Tartu
Research fellow Aigar Ottas, University of Tartu
Associate professor Viljar Jaks, University of Tartu
Research fellow Paula Reemann, University of Tartu

Professor Harri Alenius, University of Helsinki (Finland)

Psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and lichen planus are chronic inflammatory skin diseases that have a strong negative impact on the quality of life of the patients. Psoriasis is characterized by erythematous-squamous plaques on the skin and is frequently accompanied by nail changes and psoriatic arthritis. Patients suffering from atopic dermatitis have dry and itchy skin and rash in typical locations according to the age of the patient. Lichen planus is characterized by classically very pruritic polygonal purple papules. All three dermatoses are accompanied by several comorbidities.

Metabolomics is an “omics” study, which concentrates on profiling metabolites, e.g. amino acids and biogenic amines, and reflects various biological processes taking place in an organism. Metabolomics research is frequently used as an instrument to discover biomarkers for different conditions to characterize and elucidate the mechanisms of normal or pathological processes.

The main aim of this study was to determine the metabolomic profiles of the skin and blood serum of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and lichen planus in order to clarify the pathogenetic mechanisms of these diseases. Skin biopsies from lesional and visually non-lesional skin and blood sera were collected from the patients and healthy individuals, and targeted analysis was used to determine the nature of the metabolites.
We found that the metabolomic features of psoriasis lesional skin involve cellular hyperproliferation and inflammation; the metabolomic profile of atopic dermatitis lesional skin was characterized by ongoing inflammation, disrupted skin barrier function and increased susceptibility to oxidative stress; and metabolomic analysis of the blood serum of lichen planus patients revealed alterations in the composition of lipoproteins. In conclusion, the knowledge help to understand the pathogenetic mechanisms of these diseases better and the results should encourage clinicians to screen lichen planus patients routinely for dyslipidaemia.

You can also watch defence via Teams.