Author Interviews, Dermatology, Lipids / 04.12.2018 Interview with: Wendy Bollag, PhD, FAHA Professor of Physiology VA Research Career Scientist Augusta University, Georgia What is the background for this study? Response: We have previously shown that the lipid (fat) phosphatidylglycerol (PG) is able to inhibit rapidly growing keratinocytes (skin cells) and promote their maturation. We also found that PG can suppress skin inflammation. Since the common skin disease psoriasis is characterized by inflammation and excessive growth and abnormal maturation of skin cells, we believed that PG might be useful as a treatment. However, the mechanism of its anti-inflammatory effect was unknown. PG in the lung has been found to inhibit inflammation induced by microbes or their components, which work by activating the innate immune system via binding to proteins called toll-like receptors (TLRs); however, psoriasis is not considered to be an infectious disease. We hypothesized that PG would also inhibit inflammation induced by anti-microbial peptides that activate TLRs. Anti-microbial peptides, produced normally by the skin to protect against infection, are known to be excessively up-regulated in psoriatic skin.  (more…)