Advances in molecular pathogenesis of hidradenitis suppurativa: Dysregulated keratins and ECM signaling

Academic Article


  • Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is characterized by deep-seated, highly inflamed, and painful lumps/abscesses, fistulae, and sinus tracts that grow extensively deep in the dermis and are highly immunogenic in nature. In about one-third of the HS patients there is strong evidence for the role of γ-secretase mutations along with dysregulated Notch signaling. However, the contribution of dysregulated Notch signaling in HS pathogenesis in relation to hair follicle alterations and hyper-activation of the immune system remains undefined. A genome-wide association study (GWAS), proteomic data and functional investigations of identified sequence variants in HS pathology are not fully revealing. The disease initiation or progression may involve bacterial infection besides intrinsic functional defects in keratinocytes, which may be key to further exacerbate immune cell infiltration and cytokine production in and around the lesional tissue. The absence of a suitable animal model that could fully recapitulate the pathogenesis of HS is a major impediment for proper understanding the underlying mechanisms and development of effective treatments. The presence of extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation products along with dysregulation in keratinocytes and, dermal fibroblasts ultimately affect immune regulation and are various components of HS pathogenesis. Bacterial infection further exacerbates the complexity of the disease progression. While anti-TNFα therapy shows partial efficacy, treatment to cure HS is absent. Multiple clinical trials targeting various cytokines, complement C5a and ECM products are in progress. This review provides state-of-the-art information on these aspects with a focus on dysregulated keratinocyte and immune cells; and role of ECM, and Keratin functions in this regard.
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    Author List

  • Kashyap MP; Khan J; Sinha R; Jin L; Atigadda V; Deshane JS; Ahmed AR; Kilic A; Raman C; Mukhtar MS