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Metabolites 2020 Jul 21; 10(7):E299





Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial disease associated with alterations in lipid composition and organization in the epidermis. Multiple variants of AD exist with different outcomes in response to therapies. The evaluation of disease progression and response to treatment are observational assessments with poor inter-observer agreement highlighting the need for molecular markers. SHARPIN-deficient mice (Sharpincpdm) spontaneously develop chronic proliferative dermatitis with features similar to AD in humans. To study the changes in the epidermal lipid-content during disease progression, we tested 72 epidermis samples from three groups (5-, 7-, and 10-weeks old) of cpdm mice and their WT littermates. An agnostic mass-spectrometry strategy for biomarker discovery termed multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM)-profiling was used to detect and monitor 1,030 lipid ions present in the epidermis samples. In order to select the most relevant ions, we utilized a two-tiered filter/wrapper feature-selection strategy. Lipid categories were compressed, and an elastic-net classifier was used to rank and identify the most predictive lipid categories for sex, phenotype, and disease stages of cpdm mice. The model accurately classified the samples based on phospholipids, cholesteryl esters, acylcarnitines, and sphingolipids, demonstrating that disease progression cannot be defined by one single lipid or lipid category.


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