Fire ant venom compounds may lead to skin treatments

phys.org | 9/11/2017 | Staff
TitanSwimr (Posted by) Level 3
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These are skin sections from mouse psoriasis model, after treatment with solenopsin analog or control cream. Credit: From Arbiser et al Scientific Reports (2017).

Compounds derived from fire ant venom can reduce skin thickening and inflammation in a mouse model of psoriasis, Emory and Case Western scientists have shown.

Results - Publication - Scientific - Reports

The results are scheduled for publication in Scientific Reports.

The findings could lead to new treatments for psoriasis, a common autoimmune skin disease. Topical steroids are now most frequently used for mild to moderate psoriasis, but they have side effects such as skin thinning and easy bruising.

Solenopsins - Components - Fire - Venom - Ceramides

Solenopsins are the main toxic components of fire ant venom. They chemically resemble ceramides, which are lipid-like molecules essential for maintaining for the barrier function of the skin. Ceramides can be found in many skin care products.

Ceramides can act as a double-edged sword, says lead author Jack Arbiser, MD, PhD, professor of dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine. Under certain conditions they can be converted by cells into S1P (sphingosine-1-phosphate), an inflammatory molecule.

Arbiser - Colleagues - Solenopsin - Analogs - Ceramides

Arbiser and his colleagues devised two solenopsin analogs that look like ceramides, but can't be degraded into S1P. They then tested them in a mouse model of psoriasis, applying the compounds in a one percent skin cream for 28 days.

The mice treated with solenopsin analogs displayed decreases in skin thickness compared with controls (about 30 percent). The treated mice also had fewer (around 50 percent less) immune cells infiltrating the skin. When applied...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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