Background: Treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) is focused on topical anti-inflammatory therapy, epidermal barrier repair and trigger avoidance. Multidisciplinary treatment in both moderate maritime and alpine climates can successfully reduce disease activity in children with AD. However, it remains unclear whether abnormalities in B cell and T cell memory normalize and whether this differs between treatment strategies. Objective: To determine whether successful treatment in maritime and alpine climates normalizes B- and T lymphocytes in children with moderate to severe AD. Methods: The study was performed in the context of a trial (DAVOS trial, registered at Current Controlled Trials ISCRTN88136485) in which eighty-eight children with moderate to severe AD were randomized to 6 weeks of treatment in moderate maritime climate (outpatient setting) or in the alpine climate (inpatient setting). Before and directly after treatment, disease activity was determined with SA-EASI and serum TARC, and T cell and B cell subsets were quantified in blood. Results: Both treatment protocols achieved a significant decrease in disease activity, which was accompanied by a reduction in circulating memory Treg, transitional B cell and plasmablast numbers. Alpine climate treatment had a significantly greater effect on disease activity and was accompanied by a reduction in blood eosinophils and increases in memory B cells, CD8+ TemRO, CD4+ Tcm and CCR7+ Th2 subsets. Conclusions and clinical relevance: Clinically successful treatment of AD induces changes in blood B- and T cell subsets reflecting reduced chronic inflammation. In addition, multidisciplinary inpatient treatment in the alpine climate specifically affects memory B cells, CD8+ T cells and Th2 cells. These cell types could represent good markers for treatment efficacy.

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Clinical and Experimental Allergy
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Heeringa, J., Fieten, K., Bruins, F.M. (F. M.), van Hoffen, E., Knol, E. F., Pasmans, S., & van Zelm, M. (2018). Treatment for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in alpine and moderate maritime climates differentially affects helper T cells and memory B cells in children. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. doi:10.1111/cea.13136