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Brief Report
May 2018

Association of Hidradenitis Suppurativa With T Helper 1/T Helper 17 PhenotypesA Semantic Map Analysis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Centro Studi GISED, Bergamo, Italy
  • 3Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(5):592-595. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0141
Key Points

Question  What is the role of the type 1/type 17 immune response in hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)?

Findings  In this semantic map analysis study of a series of 24 patients with HS, the map shows a convincing clustering of all T helper 1/T helper 17–associated cytokines (interleukin 17 [IL-17], interferon γ, IL-12, IL-23, IL-32, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor) around overall lesional inflammation, highlighting the importance of the T helper 1/T helper 17 cytokines in HS pathogenesis.

Meaning  These findings suggest that HS is a T helper 1/T helper 17–driven inflammatory skin disease.

Abstract

Importance  In spite of progress in understanding the mechanisms underlying hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) as an inflammatory skin disease, there is still a demand for an overview on immunopathogenesis of HS.

Objective  To demonstrate the importance of the type 1/type 17 immune response in lesional HS skin by drawing a semantic connectivity map.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Single-center case series of 24 patients with HS. Association of HS with T helper 1/T helper 17 (TH1/TH17) phenotype was assessed using semantic map analysis.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Association of HS with TH1/TH17 phenotype.

Results  The analysis was performed on 24 lesional HS biopsy samples from untreated patients with HS (16 [67%] female; median age, 36.5 years [range, 21-51 years]) with a mean (SD) Hurley stage of 2.29 (0.62) and 9 punch biopsy samples from healthy controls (6 [67%] female; median age, 43 years [range, 23-66 years]). The map shows a clustering of all TH1/TH17-associated cytokines (interleukin 17 [IL-17], interferon γ, IL-12, IL-23, IL-32, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor) around overall lesional inflammation. Tumor necrosis factor, IL-12, and IL-17 are even directly connected via interferon γ. In contrast, IL-13, a TH2-associated cytokine, was inversely correlated with the presence of TH1/TH17-associated cytokines, further highlighting the importance of the TH1/TH17 cytokines in HS pathogenesis.

Conclusions and Relevance  These findings suggest that HS may be a TH1/TH17-driven inflammatory skin disease.

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