Non-invasive evaluation of atopic dermatitis based on redox status usingin vivodynamic nuclear polarization magnetic resonance imaging

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory condition with complex etiology, including genetic, environmental and immunologic factors. Redox imbalance caused by excessive oxidative stress has been shown to mediate disease activity of AD. Currently, an imaging technique that can monitor the redox status of the skin in vivo has not yet been developed. Consequently, we have established such a technique that can detect and visualize the redox status of the skin using in vivo dynamic nuclear polarization magnetic resonance imaging (DNP-MRI). To evaluate this technique, we utilized an AD mouse model that was generated by repeated topical application of mite antigen in NC/Nga mice. We imaged alterations in redox balance of the resulting AD skin lesions of the mice. Using in vivo DNP-MRI and non-toxic nitroxyl radicals to visualize free radicals in vivo, we revealed that AD skin lesions demonstrated more rapid decay rates of image intensity enhancement than normal skin, indicating that our technique can monitor excessive oxidative stress occurring in AD skin lesions. Therefore, this technique has the potential to provide a novel approach for evaluating disease activity of inflammatory skin diseases, including AD, from the view point of altered redox status.

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