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Schamber, Paz; Schwab-Richards, Rachel; Bauersachs, Stefan and Mueller, Ralf S. (2014): Gene Expression in the Skin of Dogs Sensitized to the House Dust Mite Dermatophagoides farinae. In: G3-Genes Genomes Genetics, Vol. 4, No. 10: pp. 1787-1795 [PDF, 751kB]


Atopic dermatitis is a multifactorial allergic skin disease in humans and dogs. Genetic predisposition, immunologic hyperreactivity, a defective skin barrier, and environmental factors play a role in its pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to analyze gene expression in the skin of dogs sensitized to house dust mite antigens. Skin biopsy samples were collected from six sensitized and six nonsensitized Beagle dogs before and 6 hr and 24 hr after challenge using skin patches with allergen or saline as a negative control. Transcriptome analysis was performed by the use of DNA microarrays and expression of selected genes was validated by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Expression data were compared between groups (unpaired design). After 24 hr, 597 differentially expressed genes were detected, 361 with higher and 226 with lower mRNA concentrations in allergen-treated skin of sensitized dogs compared with their saline-treated skin and compared with the control specimens. Functional annotation clustering and pathway-and co-citation analysis showed that the genes with increased expression were involved in inflammation, wound healing, and immune response. In contrast, genes with decreased expression in sensitized dogs were associated with differentiation and barrier function of the skin. Because the sensitized dogs did not show differences in the untreated skin compared with controls, inflammation after allergen patch test probably led to a decrease in the expression of genes important for barrier formation. Our results further confirm the similar pathophysiology of human and canine atopic dermatitis and revealed genes previously not known to be involved in canine atopic dermatitis.

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