Anti-CD20 (rituximab) treatment improves atopic eczema

Simon, Dagmar; Hösli, Susanne; Kostylina, Ganna; Yawalkar, Nikhil; Simon, Hans-Uwe (2008). Anti-CD20 (rituximab) treatment improves atopic eczema. Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 121(1), pp. 122-8. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.11.016

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BACKGROUND: Atopic eczema (AE) is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder characterized by eczematous skin lesions, pruritus, and typical histopathologic features. OBJECTIVE: We asked whether depletion of B cells by monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody therapy (rituximab) would improve severe AE. METHODS: Six patients (4 women and 2 men) with severe AE received 2 intravenous applications of rituximab, each 1000 mg, 2 weeks apart. To evaluate the efficacy of rituximab, we monitored clinical parameters (eczema area and severity index, pruritus), total and allergen-specific IgE levels, skin histology, and inflammatory cells and cytokine expression in the skin and peripheral blood before and after therapy. RESULTS: All patients showed an improvement of their skin symptoms within 4 to 8 weeks. The eczema area and severity index significantly decreased (before therapy, 29.4 +/- 4.3; week 8, 8.4 +/- 3.6; P < .001). Histologic alterations such as spongiosis, acanthosis, and dermal infiltrate, including T and B cell numbers, also dramatically improved. However, whereas blood B cells were below detectable levels as a consequence of rituximab administration, skin B cells were reduced by approximately 50% only. Expression of IL-5 and IL-13 was reduced after therapy. Moreover, whereas allergen-specific IgE levels were not altered, we observed a slight reduction in total IgE concentrations in blood. CONCLUSIONS: B cells play a major role in AE pathogenesis. Treatment with an anti-CD20 antibody leads to an impressive improvement of AE in patients with severe disease.

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Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Dermatology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology

UniBE Contributor:

Simon, Dagmar, Yawalkar, Nikhil, Simon, Hans-Uwe










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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:03

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:19

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URI: (FactScience: 108771)

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