Dupilumab progressively improves systemic and cutaneous abnormalities in patients with atopic dermatitis

Emma Guttman-Yassky*, Robert Bissonnette, Benjamin Ungar, Mayte Suárez-Fariñas, Marius Ardeleanu, Hitokazu Esaki, Maria Suprun, Yeriel Estrada, Hui Xu, Xiangyu Peng, Jonathan I. Silverberg, Alan Menter, James G. Krueger, Rick Zhang, Usman Chaudhry, Brian Swanson, Neil M.H. Graham, Gianluca Pirozzi, George D. Yancopoulos, Jennifer D. Jennifer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

392 Scopus citations


Background: Dupilumab is an IL-4 receptor α mAb inhibiting signaling of IL-4 and IL-13, key drivers of type 2–driven inflammation, as demonstrated by its efficacy in patients with atopic/allergic diseases. Objective: This placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (NCT01979016) evaluated the efficacy, safety, and effects of dupilumab on molecular/cellular lesional and nonlesional skin phenotypes and systemic type 2 biomarkers of patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD). Methods: Skin biopsy specimens and blood were evaluated from 54 patients randomized 1:1 to weekly subcutaneous doses of 200 mg of dupilumab or placebo for 16 weeks. Results: Dupilumab (vs placebo) significantly improved clinical signs and symptoms of AD, was well tolerated, and progressively shifted the lesional transcriptome toward a nonlesional phenotype (weeks 4–16). Mean improvements in a meta-analysis–derived AD transcriptome (genes differentially expressed between lesional and nonlesional skin) were 68.8% and 110.8% with dupilumab and −10.5% and 55.0% with placebo (weeks 4 and 16, respectively; P <.001). Dupilumab significantly reduced expression of genes involved in type 2 inflammation (IL13, IL31, CCL17, CCL18, and CCL26), epidermal hyperplasia (keratin 16 [K16] and MKi67), T cells, dendritic cells (ICOS, CD11c, and CTLA4), and TH17/TH22 activity (IL17A, IL-22, and S100As) and concurrently increased expression of epidermal differentiation, barrier, and lipid metabolism genes (filaggrin [FLG], loricrin [LOR], claudins, and ELOVL3). Dupilumab reduced lesional epidermal thickness versus placebo (week 4, P =.001; week 16, P =.0002). Improvements in clinical and histologic measures correlated significantly with modulation of gene expression. Dupilumab also significantly suppressed type 2 serum biomarkers, including CCL17, CCL18, periostin, and total and allergen-specific IgEs. Conclusion: Dupilumab-mediated inhibition of IL-4/IL-13 signaling through IL-4 receptor α blockade significantly and progressively improved disease activity, suppressed cellular/molecular cutaneous markers of inflammation and systemic measures of type 2 inflammation, and reversed AD-associated epidermal abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-172
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • IL-4 receptor α inhibition
  • dupilumab
  • epidermal pathology
  • gene expression
  • skin
  • transcriptome
  • type 2 inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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