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Topical adelmidrol 2% emulsion, a novel aliamide, in the treatment of mild atopic dermatitis in pediatric subjects: a pilot study.

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  • 1University Department of Dermatology, University of Catania, Piazza S. Agata La Vetere, 6, 95124 Catania, Italy.


Recent studies have shown a correlation between an increased number of mast cells in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) resulting in raised plasma levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), pointing to a possible key role of their interaction in the pathogenesis of AD. It is well known that mast cells synthesize, store and release NGF. Mast cells and NGF both appear to be involved in tissue inflammation and neuroimmune interactions, with NGF acting as a general "alert" molecule capable of recruiting and priming both local tissue and systemic defense processes following stressful events. Also, NGF has been demonstrated to increase mast cell histamine content and intracellular tryptase activity in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Endogenous aliamides are capable of down-regulating mastocyte reactivity by their action through the vanilloid (VR1) receptors, and keratinocytes, and through the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors linked to G-protein, also expressed by sensitive nerve endings, macrophages, and epithelial cells. Therefore, aliamide action should be regarded as a multifaceted mechanism interfering with the inflammatory process occurring in AD further beyond the known and controversial anti-histamine pharmacologic effect. In this regard, the reduction of mast cell degranulation by adelmidrol, as demonstrated by in vitro and in vivo investigations in animals, would interfere with the release of other inflammatory mediators, including NGF. Based on these considerations, a pilot study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of twice daily application of a topical emulsion containing adelmidrol 2%, a novel aliamide, in a series of 20 patients (11 male and 9 female, mean age 8 (range 3-16) years) affected by mild AD was performed. Complete resolution with no side effects was observed in 16 (80%) patients after 4 weeks of treatment, with no relapses at 8-week follow up. Six patches in six subjects with multiple lesions that had not been treated and served as controls showed no improvement. Controlled clinical studies in larger series are warranted to confirm the efficacy of aliamide in the management of AD.

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