JO VOL. 12 N. 2, July-Dec, 2020
CALCIUM IONS AND ATOPIC DERMATITIS.
Institute of Molecular Genetics, National Research Council, Section of Chieti, Chieti
Calcium is the main component of bone and also helps cells, muscles and nerves to function properly. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, recurrent, eczematous and pruritic disease presenting with immune dysfunction linked to Th22 and Th17 cells. Autoreactive IgE may participate in AD, and some inflammatory cytokines may be involved in the sensation of itching. The epidermal barrier protects from external physical and chemical insults, and also from biological ones such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. Keratinocytes are important for the formation of the epidermal barrier. Extracellular calcium activates keratinocytes that are malfunctioning in skin diseases, for example AD. Calcium (Ca2+) is very important for the regulation of many skin functions, including homestasis, and diferentiation of immune cells. For example, it has been reported that Ca2+ accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum and is crucial for the differentiation of keratinocytes that protect the skin from infections. Therefore, calcium homeostasis and vitamin D are recognized as immunomodulators. However, the association of Ca2+, vitamin D and AD is not yet clear and represents an interesting object of study.
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