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Non-invasive tape-stripping with high-resolution RNA profiling effectively captures a pre-inflammatory state in nonlesional psoriatic skin.

Published:November 18, 2021DOI:


      Tape stripping is a minimally invasive, non-scarring method that can be utilized to assess gene expression in skin but is infrequently used given technical constraints. By comparing different tape stripping technologies and full thickness skin biopsy results of lesional and non-lesional psoriatic skin from the same patients, we demonstrate that tape stripping with optimized high-resolution transcriptomic profiling can be used to effectively assess and characterize inflammatory responses in skin. Upon comparison with single-cell RNA-seq data from psoriatic full thickness skin biopsies, we illustrate that tape-stripping efficiently captures the transcriptome of the upper layers of the epidermis with sufficient resolution to assess the molecular components of the feed-forward immune amplification pathway in psoriasis. Notably, non-lesional psoriatic skin sampled by tape stripping demonstrates activated, pro-inflammatory changes when compared to healthy control skin, suggesting a pre-psoriatic state, which is not captured on full-thickness skin biopsy transcriptome profiling. This work illustrates an approach to assess inflammatory response in the epidermis by combining non-invasive sampling with high throughput RNA sequencing, providing a foundation for biomarker discoveries and mechanism of action studies for inflammatory skin conditions.

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