Karim, Noreen, et al. “Protein profiling of forehead epidermal corneocytes distinguishes frontal fibrosing from androgenetic alopecia.” Plos one 18.3 (2023): e0283619. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0283619
Protein profiling offers an effective approach to characterizing how far epidermis departs from normal in disease states. The present pilot investigation tested the hypothesis that protein expression in epidermal corneocytes is perturbed in the forehead of subjects exhibiting frontal fibrosing alopecia. To this end, samples were collected by tape stripping from subjects diagnosed with this condition and compared to those from asymptomatic control subjects and from those exhibiting androgenetic alopecia. Unlike the latter, which exhibited only 3 proteins significantly different from controls in expression level, forehead samples from frontal fibrosing alopecia subjects displayed 72 proteins significantly different from controls, nearly two-thirds having lower expression. The results demonstrate frontal fibrosing alopecia exhibits altered corneocyte protein expression in epidermis beyond the scalp, indicative of a systemic condition. They also provide a basis for quantitative measures of departure from normal by assaying forehead epidermis, useful in monitoring response to treatment while avoiding invasive biopsy.