Focus on cathelicidin and its role in rosacea

Written by on August 28, 2005 in What Causes Rosacea? with 6 Comments

From Rosacea Review 2002

“Dr. Richard Gallo, associate professor, medicine and pediatrics, University of California, San Diego and director of dermatological research, VA San Diego, presented interim study results on the `Role of the innate immune system in rosacea.’ He noted that the immune system produces peptides that are a natural defense against the presence of bacteria. He and his colleagues found that a particular type of peptide known as a cathelicidin is present in the skin of rosacea patients and can cause some symptoms of rosacea, such as inflammation, redness and increased blood vessel growth. They concluded that these cathelicidins may be a significant link in the development of rosacea.”

Some NRS sponsored research was slated as published in 2004. ;

Yamasaki K, Barden A, Taylor K, Wong C, Ohtake T, Murakami M, Gallo RL. Expression and potential pathological role of cathelicidin expression in rosacea. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2004;122:A51.

Also some background notes from Dermatology Times, June 2004.

“Innate immunity is an aspect of the immune system that doesn’t require prior exposure to an antigen,” Dr. Gallo says. “In other words, we have a genetically programmed ability to respond to danger in our environment. All animals have this kind of system programmed into their genes.”

… many aspects of the way the skin defends itself against danger is through innate immunity. His laboratory has studied one of the weapons of innate immunity – antimicrobial peptides.

“Additionally, if we believe that the disease is caused by too much cathelicidin, we could develop a strategy to block the effects of the cathelicidins by making molecules that mimic that protein but don’t have the same effects,” he explains.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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6 Reader Comments

  1. william bell says:

    how can i become part of a clinical trail for rosacea

  2. David Pascoe says:

    I guess it is possible that Dr. Gallo might have some kind of clinical trial in the future, but I would think that would be years away.

    This research confirms, for example, that low dose antibiotics are a good treatment option for rosacea as they interrupt cathelicidin in the inflammatory pathway.

    As to whether Dr. Gallo’s research leads to some new form of treatment, we will have to wait and see.


  3. maureen says:

    I took antibotics for several years, and it does help to control things, but you also suffer from a several gut problem.
    I hope Dr. Gallo and others will find a treatment for this sooner than later

  4. karen says:

    I have been taking antibiotics for years, they helped but never solved the problem, I am 43 and my skin is in such a bad mess, with lumps on my chin and i am now having them on my cheek, with a red face. This is the worst I have ever felt and hope someone finds a cure to this horrible disease. Karen

  5. Judith says:

    I read the research on cathelicidins and the blocking of this immune action in the skin with sulfated polysaccharides (SP). I searched for a natural source of SP and found that the marine algae Bladderwrack contains this chemical so I have been using it in liquid drop form orally and applying it topically to my facial skin. I have not had a single breakout since I started it.

    Due to the winter months I take oral D3 which is known to cause increased cathelicidins in the skin – I would break out at therapeutic doses of D3. I have not had a post breakout using D3 since I have been taking Bladderwrack.

    I hope this continues!

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