The pathogenetic effect of natural and bacterial toxins on atopic dermatitis

Kyung-Duck Park, Sok Cheon Pak, Kwan-Kyu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common allergic skin disease that is associated with chronic, recurrent eczematous and pruritic lesions at the flexural folds caused by interacting factors related to environmental and immune system changes. AD results in dry skin, and immunoglobulin E-mediated allergic reactions to foods and environmental allergens. While steroids and anti-histamines temporarily relieve the symptoms of AD, the possibility of side effects from pharmacological interventions remains. Despite intensive research, the underlying mechanisms for AD have not been clarified. A study of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) established the role of its toxins in the pathogenesis of AD. Approximately 90% of patients with AD experience S. aureus colonization and up to 50%–60% of the colonizing S. aureus is toxin-producing. Any damage to the protective skin barrier allows for the entry of invading allergens and pathogens that further drive the pathogenesis of AD. Some natural toxins (or their components) that have therapeutic effects on AD have been studied. In addition, recent studies on inflammasomes as one component of the innate immune system have been carried out. Additionally, studies on the close relationship between the activation of inflammasomes and toxins in AD have been reported. This review highlights the literature that discusses the pathogenesis of AD, the role of toxins in AD, and the positive and negative effects of toxins on AD. Lastly, suggestions are made regarding the role of inflammasomes in AD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Early online dateDec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2017


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