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    This study examined the importance of nuclear factor kappa-beta (NFKB) in patients with rosacea.

    Study design

    Tissue samples were obtained from patients with or without rosacea who were undergoing ectropion repair (n=12 in each group). The samples were assessed using western blot and immunohistochemistry to quantify the levels of total and phosphorylated NKFB.


    Rosacea patients had approximately twice as many cells that were positive for phosphorylated NFKB than control patients (39.3 vs. 18.4 cells/40x microscopic field; P=0.0024). Western blot showed that the average ratio of phosphorylated to total NFKB was 0.58 for the control group and 3.11 for the rosacea group (P=0.0001).


    NKFB can be activated by a variety of stimuli. This study does not define the exact role that NKFB activation plays in rosacea.

    Clinical significance

    This study shows that the activated, phosphorylated variant of NKFB is enriched in rosacea. Ultraviolet light, a known trigger of rosacea, also increases NKFB activation. Since NKFB signaling is associated with immune responses triggered by invading agents, this pathway may be stimulated by organisms that contribute to rosacea, such as bacillus, demodex and mites. NKFB inhibition may therefore provide a therapeutic pathway to treat rosacea.