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Holvoet, Sebastien; Nutten, Sophie; Dupuis, Lenaick; Donnicola, Dominique; Bourdeau, Tristan; Hughes-Formella, Betsy; Simon, Dagmar; Simon, Hans-Uwe; Carvalho, Ryan S.; Spergel, Jonathan M.; Koletzko, Sibylle and Blanchard, Carine (2021): Partially Hydrolysed Whey-Based Infant Formula Improves Skin Barrier Function. In: Nutrients, Vol. 13, No. 9, 3113

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Specific partially hydrolysed whey-based infant formulas (pHF-W) have been shown to decrease the risk of atopic dermatitis (AD) in infants. Historically, AD has been associated primarily with milk allergy;however, defective skin barrier function can be a primary cause of AD. We aimed to ascertain whether oral supplementation with pHF-W can improve skin barrier function. The effect of pHF-W was assessed on transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and antibody productions in mice epicutaneously exposed to Aspergillus fumigatus. Human primary keratinocytes were stimulated in vitro, and the expression of genes related to skin barrier function was measured. Supplementation with pHF-W in neonatal mice led to a significant decrease in TEWL and total IgE, but not in allergen-specific antibody levels. The whey hydrolysate was sufficient to decrease both TEWL and total IgE. Aquaporin-3 gene expression, linked with skin hydration, was modulated in the skin of mice and human primary keratinocytes following protein hydrolysate exposure. Skin barrier improvement may be an additional mechanism by which pHF-W may potentially reduce the risk of AD development in infants. Further human studies are warranted to confirm the clinical efficacy of these observations.

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