Capsaicin induces atopic dermatitis-like manifestations through dysregulation of proteolytic system and alteration of filaggrin processing in rats

Sewon Kim, Seung Keun Back, Heung Sik Na, Sun Ho Kee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex disease featuring pruritic skin inflammation. Many animal models have been developed. In a rat model, subcutaneous capsaicin injection within 48 hours after birth induces AD-like skin manifestations of dermatitis and scratching behaviour 3 weeks after the injection. When 2- to 4-week-old rats were injected with capsaicin, the lag period was shortened, and the severity of skin manifestations was significantly reduced, suggesting influences of postnatal development. Lgr6 is an epidermal stem cell marker that is normally restricted to the isthmus area of hair follicles at postnatal 2 weeks. Lgr6 persisted in the interfollicular epidermis of capsaicin-injected rats beyond 3 weeks after birth, indicating that capsaicin-induced skin manifestations were influenced by postnatal epidermal development. Capsaicin injection induced alteration of proteolytic processing of filaggrin and corneodesmosin, suggesting epidermal barrier dysfunction. Inappropriate degradation of matriptase was observed. Degrees of proteolysis of these proteins were corelated with the severity of manifestations, suggesting that inappropriate proteolysis might be a possible cause of the skin manifestations. These results strongly suggest that capsaicin may dysregulate the protease system, resulting in alteration of profilaggrin and corneodesmosin proteolysis and skin manifestations. These events may be influenced by postnatal epidermal development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work (Grants No. C0557967) was supported by Business for Cooperative R&D between Industry, Academy and Research Institute funded Korea Small and Medium Business Administration in 2017 to S-H Kee, and by the Public Welfare & Safety research program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2014M3C8A5030612) to HS Na.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Capsaicin
  • atopic dermatitis
  • postnatal development
  • proteases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


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