Vet Sci. 2022 Jun 27;9(7):323. doi: 10.3390/vetsci9070323.
Filaggrin is an epidermal protein involved in skin barrier formation and hydration, whose expression is altered in canine atopic dermatitis (CAD). CAD patients also present an abnormal immune response with an altered expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), such as β-defensins and cathelicidins. Sphingolipids and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) have been reported to improve the skin barrier in several animal species, including dogs. Our objective was to evaluate the in vitro effects of a sphingomyelin-rich lipid extract (LE), a hyaluronic acid-rich GAG matrix, and their combination, on the expression of filaggrin and human β-defensin 2 (hBD-2). Filaggrin expression was quantified in a reconstructed human epidermis (RHE), and hBD-2 in normal human epidermal keratinocyte (NHEK) cultures. LE and GAGs were tested at 0.02 mg/mL, with or without adding a cytokine mix. A significant increase in mean hBD-2, compared to the control (99 pg/mL) was achieved with LE (138 pg/mL) and LE+GAGs (165 pg/mL). Filaggrin increased with GAGs (202% ± 83) and LE (193% ± 44) vs. the stimulated control, but this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05) only with LE+GAGs (210% ± 39). In conclusion, the tested GAGs and LE enhance filaggrin and AMP expression in vitro, which might benefit CAD patients if applied in vivo.