Debajyoti Ghosh, PhD: Perinatal Phthalate Exposure Linked to Atopic Dermatitis Susceptibility

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At the AAAAI 2023 Annual Meeting, Dr. Debajyoti Ghosh explains the importance of understanding the effect of phthalates, specifically di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP).

At the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2023 Annual Meeting, Debajyoti Ghosh, PhD, research instructor, Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati, presented data from one of his recent studies which aimed to investigate the connection between maternal phthalate exposure and the development of atopic dermatitis (AD) in offspring.

"The prevalence of atopic dermatitis in the industrialized world is about 20%, in the case of kids 20-25%, and in adults, it ranges between 5-10% in general population," Ghosh said in an interview.

What he found especially suprising was the increasing frequency of atopic dermititis, which can't be explained solely by genetics.

"The prevalence of atopic dermatitis is increasing radically over the last few decades," Ghosh explained.

The motivation of his research was to understand more about the main environmemtal factors, such as microbiome changes, new chemical or air exposure like di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), causing the steady increase in prevalence rates.

"Phthalate compounds are everywhere–they are called plasticizers, and they are added to the plastics, vinyl pipes, and everywhere just to increase the duration of plastic materials," he said. "So, they are in the vinyl floorings, water pipes, and blood storage bag tubing, and we are basically more concerned about perinatal exposure to kids and what happens when the kids are getting exposed perinatally from their moms."

In addition to the perinatal period, Ghosh wanted to investigate how this exposure might have an impact later in life because there are strong indications that perinatal exposure is associated with the development of allergen-induced atopic dermatitis, according to epidemiologic studies, with DEHP in particular.

"Are there any chances with this risk that they will become more susceptible to allergies, like atopic dermatitis, food allergy, asthma?– That was the question," he said. "The most important is to find the mechanism in order to target any molecule for future drug development to stop this effect."

Watch more of HCPLive's interview with Dr. Debajyoti Ghosh to learn about his research on hereditary angioedema (HAE) prodromes and attacks.