Sweat glucose and GLUT2 expression in atopic dermatitis: Implication for clinical manifestation and treatment

PLoS One. 2018 Apr 20;13(4):e0195960. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195960. eCollection 2018.


Sweat includes active components and metabolites, which are needed to maintain skin homeostasis. Component changes in sweat derived from atopic dermatitis (AD) have been reported. To investigate the influence of sweat components on the pathogenesis of AD, we performed a multifaceted assessment, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy-based metabolomic analysis, and linked these features to clinical features of AD. Distinctive properties of AD sweat are the quite-variation in protein, anti-microbial peptides and glucose concentrations. pH, sodium, and other salt levels in sweat of AD were comparable to that of healthy subjects. Sweat from AD patients with acute inflammation had a more prominent increase in glucose concentration than sweat from healthy individuals or those with AD with chronic inflammation. Topical glucose application delayed recovery of transepidermal water loss in barrier-disrupted mice. Furthermore, the glucose transporter GLUT2 was highly expressed in the lumen of sweat glands from AD patients. AD patients with chronic inflammation had significantly increased GLUT2 mRNA expression and near normal sweat glucose levels. Despite the small sample size in our study, we speculate that the increased glucose levels might be affected by AD severity and phenotype. We hope that this report will bring novel insight into the impact of sweat components on the clinical manifestation of AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / genetics
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sweat / chemistry*
  • Sweat Glands / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation
  • Young Adult


  • Glucose Transporter Type 2
  • SLC2A2 protein, human
  • Glucose

Grant support

This study was supported by research grant from the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (ID: 17K07591), and from the Maruho Takagi Dermatology Foundation to Hiroyuki Murota. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.