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Pharmacol Res. 2021 Nov 8:105971. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105971. Online ahead of print.


Rosacea is a common chronic inflammatory disease that affects the middle of the face. Due to the unclear pathogenesis, the effective treatment options for rosacea remain limited. In this study, weighted gene co-expression network analyses (WGCNA) identified three rosacea-related hub modules, which were involved in immune-, metabolic- and development- related signaling pathways. Next, the key genes from green and brown modules were submitted to CMap database for drug prediction and metformin was identified as a candidate drug for rosacea. Moreover, network pharmacology analysis identified pharmacological targets of metformin and demonstrated that metformin could help in treating rosacea partly by modulating inflammatory and angiogenesis signaling pathways. Finally, we verified the therapeutic role and mechanism of metformin on rosacea in vivo and vitro. We found that metformin treatment significantly improved rosacea-like skin lesions including immune cells infiltration, cytokines/chemokines expression and angiogenesis. Moreover, metformin suppressed LL37- and TNF-α-induced the ROS production and MAPK-NF-κB signal activation in keratinocytes cells. In conclusion, our findings identified and verified metformin as a novel therapeutic candidate for rosacea, and it alleviates the pathological symptoms, possibly by suppressing inflammatory responses, angiogenesis in rosacea.

PMID:34763093 | DOI:10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105971

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