RNA-sequencing of paired tape-strips and skin biopsies in atopic dermatitis reveals key differences

Blaine Fritz, Anne-Sofie Halling, Isabel Díaz-Pinés Cort, Maria Oberländer Christensen, Amalie Thorsti Møller Rønnstad, Caroline Meyer Olesen, Mette Hjorslev Knudgaard, Claus Zachariae, Steffen Heegaard, Jacob P Thyssen, Thomas Bjarnsholt*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Skin tape-strips and biopsies are widely used methods for investigating the skin in atopic dermatitis (AD). Biopsies are more commonly used but can cause scarring and pain, whereas tape-strips are noninvasive but sample less tissue. The study evaluated the performance of skin tape-strips and biopsies for studying AD.

METHODS: Whole-transcriptome RNA-sequencing was performed on paired tape-strips and biopsies collected from lesional and non-lesional skin from AD patients (n = 7) and non-AD controls (n = 5). RNA yield, mapping efficiency, and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) for the two methods (tape-strip/biopsy) and presence of AD (AD/non-AD) were compared.

RESULTS: Tape-strips demonstrated a lower RNA yield (22 vs. 4596 ng) and mapping efficiency to known genes (28% vs. 93%) than biopsies. Gene-expression profiles of paired tape-strips and biopsies demonstrated a medium correlation (R2  = 0.431). Tape-strips and biopsies demonstrated systematic differences in measured expression levels of 6483 genes across both AD and non-AD samples. Tape-strips preferentially detected many itch (CCL3/CCL4/OSM) and immune-response (CXCL8/IL4/IL5/IL22) genes as well as markers of epidermal dendritic cells (CD1a/CD207), while certain cytokines (IL18/IL37), skin-barrier genes (KRT2/FLG2), and dermal fibroblasts markers (COL1A/COL3A) were preferentially detected by biopsies. Tape-strips identified more DEGs between AD and non-AD (3157 DEGs) then biopsies (44 DEGs). Tape-strips also detected higher levels of bacterial mRNA than biopsies.

CONCLUSIONS: This study concludes that tape-strips and biopsies each demonstrate respective advantages for measuring gene-expression changes in AD. Thus, the specific skin layers and genes of interest should be considered before selecting either method.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAllergy
ISSN0105-4538
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 13 mar. 2024

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