Johns Hopkins study finds encouraging potential for treating rare skin disorder

September 4, 2007

Baltimore - Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Center have released a study showing that an experimental model of the rare skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa simplex responds promptly to an antioxidant phytochemical found in broccoli and related plants, reports Medpagetoday.com.

Baltimore - Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Center have released a study showing that an experimental model of the rare skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa simplex responds promptly to an antioxidant phytochemical found in broccoli and related plants, reports Medpagetoday.com.

The study involved injecting pregnant mice with sulforaphane, followed by topical treatment of newborn pups. This resulted in an 83 percent survival rate, whereas 93 percent of untreated pups died soon after birth.

The study appeared in the Aug. 20-24 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers write that sulforaphane activates two different signaling pathways and has “potent anti-inflammatory properties that are manifested in the skin of treated newborns. This anti-inflammatory effect may help limit the extent of tissue damage and/or assist tissue repair.”

Epidermolysis bullosa simplex is an inherited, sometimes fatal disorder for which there is no cure. In affected individuals, fluid-filled blisters arise on the skin in response to trauma.

“The available evidence suggests that Nrf2-inducers like sulforaphane would be therapeutically effective in patients (with epidermolysis bullosa simplex) harboring any type of mutation at the K14 locus,” the study’s authors write.

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