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Ductal hypoxia in acne: the missing link between comedogenesis and inflammation

Vol. 201, Issue 5: etoc 1
Vol. 201, Issue 5: etoc 1 (Photo credit: TheJCB)
This study proposes hypoxia inducible factor (HIF1) as the missing link between the androgenic and inflammatory theories of acne pathogenesis. Androgenic hormones  induce intraductal keratinocyte proliferation resulting in ductal hypoxia. Hypoxia induces the failure of both terminal differentiation and desquamation thus inducing the non inflammatory form of acne. Later it stimulates the production of HIF-1, and the HIF-1 stimulates inflammatory cytokines (thus inducing the inflammatory form of acne). P.Acnes is seen more as an effect than the cause of acne since the facultative anaerobe thrives in this hypoxic environment, thereby acting as a serendipitous marker of acne.

Interesting and plausible theory, but with doubtful clinical utility.

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON