L-3-phosphoserine phosphatase (Psph) is a highly conserved and widely expressed member of the haloacid dehalogenase superfamily and the rate-limiting enzyme in L-serine biosynthesis. We previously found Psph expression to be uniquely upregulated in a α6β4 integrin transgenic mouse model that is predisposed to epidermal hyperproliferation and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) formation implicating a role for Psph in epidermal homeostasis.
We examined the status of PSPH in normal skin epidermis and skin tumors along with its sub-cellular localization in epidermal keratinocytes and its requirement for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) proliferation.
First, an immunohistochemical study was performed for PSPH in normal skin and skin cancer specimens and in cultured keratinocytes. Next, biochemical analyses were performed to confirm localization of PSPH and to identify candidate binding proteins. Finally, proliferation and apoptosis studies were performed in human SCC and normal keratinocytes, respectively, transduced with vectors encoding small hairpin RNAs targeting PSPH or overexpressing a phosphatase-deficient PSPH mutant.
PSPH is expressed throughout the proliferative layer of the epidermis and hair follicles in rodent and human skin and is highly induced in SCC. In keratinocytes, PSPH is a cytoplasmic protein that primarily localizes to endosomes and is present primarily as a homodimer. Knock down of PSPH dramatically diminished SCC cell proliferation and cyclin D1 levels in the presence of exogenous of L-serine production suggesting a non-canonical role for PSPH in epithelial carcinogenesis.
Psph is highly induced in proliferative normal keratinocytes and in skin tumors. PSPH appears to be critical for the proliferation of SCC cells; however, this phenomenon may not involve the phosphoserine metabolic pathway.
PSPH; epidermis; squamous cell carcinoma; keratinocyte; serine metabolism
Genetic engineering can expand the utility of pigs for modeling human diseases, and for developing advanced therapeutic approaches. However, the inefficient production of transgenic pigs represents a technological bottleneck. Here, we assessed the hyperactive Sleeping Beauty (SB100X) transposon system for enzyme-catalyzed transgene integration into the embryonic porcine genome. The components of the transposon vector system were microinjected as circular plasmids into the cytoplasm of porcine zygotes, resulting in high frequencies of transgenic fetuses and piglets. The transgenic animals showed normal development and persistent reporter gene expression for >12 months. Molecular hallmarks of transposition were confirmed by analysis of 25 genomic insertion sites. We demonstrate germ-line transmission, segregation of individual transposons, and continued, copy number-dependent transgene expression in F1-offspring. In addition, we demonstrate target-selected gene insertion into transposon-tagged genomic loci by Cre-loxP-based cassette exchange in somatic cells followed by nuclear transfer. Transposase-catalyzed transgenesis in a large mammalian species expands the arsenal of transgenic technologies for use in domestic animals and will facilitate the development of large animal models for human diseases.
The α4/α9 integrins directly engage the ECM glycoprotein EMILIN1 to inhibit skin cell proliferation upstream of TGF-β signaling.
EMILIN1 promotes α4β1 integrin–dependent cell adhesion and migration and reduces pro–transforming growth factor–β processing. A knockout mouse model was used to unravel EMILIN1 functions in skin where the protein was abundantly expressed in the dermal stroma and where EMILIN1-positive fibrils reached the basal keratinocyte layer. Loss of EMILIN1 caused dermal and epidermal hyperproliferation and accelerated wound closure. We identified the direct engagement of EMILIN1 to α4β1 and α9β1 integrins as the mechanism underlying the homeostatic role exerted by EMILIN1. The lack of EMILIN1–α4/α9 integrin interaction was accompanied by activation of PI3K/Akt and Erk1/2 pathways as a result of the reduction of PTEN. The down-regulation of PTEN empowered Erk1/2 phosphorylation that in turn inhibited Smad2 signaling by phosphorylation of residues Ser245/250/255. These results highlight the important regulatory role of an extracellular matrix component in skin proliferation. In addition, EMILIN1 is identified as a novel ligand for keratinocyte α9β1 integrin, suggesting prospective roles for this receptor–ligand pair in skin homeostasis.
In normal epidermis, β1 integrin expression is confined to the basal layer, whereas in hyperproliferative epidermis, integrins are also expressed in the suprabasal layers. Transgenic mice in which integrins are expressed suprabasally via the involucrin promoter have a sporadic psoriatic phenotype; however, the mechanism by which integrins contribute to the pathogenesis of psoriasis is unknown. We observed activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in basal and suprabasal keratinocytes of human and transgenic mouse psoriatic lesions and healing mouse skin wounds, correlating in each case with suprabasal integrin expression. Phenotypically normal human and transgenic mouse epidermis did not contain activated MAPK. Transgene-positive keratinocytes produced more IL-1α than controls did, and keratinocyte MAPK could be activated by ligation of suprabasal integrins or treatment with IL-1α. Constitutive activation of MAPK increased the growth rate of human keratinocytes and delayed the onset of terminal differentiation, recreating many of the histological features of psoriatic epidermis. We propose that activation of MAPK by integrins, either directly or through increased IL-1α production, is responsible for epidermal hyperproliferation in psoriasis and wound healing, and that the sporadic phenotype of the transgenic mice may reflect the complex mechanisms by which IL-1 release and responsiveness are controlled in skin.
Integrins are transmembrane proteins that are present in the plasma membrane of basal ketatinocytes and connect them to the underlying basement membrane and to the dermis. There are primarily two types of interactions between the epidermis and the dermis—via focal adhesion plaques and hemidesmosomes. It is critical that these interactions form properly to confer the skin strong mechanical properties. Integrins are also critical during wound healing, particularly in closure of the wound.
Margadant et al. (2009) address proper closure of cutaneous wounds. They developed a conditional knockout mouse for integrin α3 and showed that the absence of the α3 integrin resulted in faster migration of the keratinocytes during wound healing. However, its absence also led to inflammation, hair loss, basement membrane duplication, and loss of dermal epidermal interactions with blister formation. The latter has important consequences for the ability of the skin to withstand mechanical challenges.
Basic/Clinical Science Advances
Models such as the conditional model developed by Margadant et al. (2009) will provide the opportunity for making major advances in understanding the complex function of integrins during healing.
Clinical Care Relevance
The model and the findings provide an opportunity to decipher mechanisms of disease and for potential development of treatments for human skin disorders and impaired healing, including chronic ulcers.
This work provides knowledge that leads to the understanding of delayed re-epithelialization during wound healing and dermal epidermal defects, blistering, and chronic skin diseases, hence providing the opportunity to understand the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in these situations.
Wounding of skin activates epidermal cell migration over exposed dermal collagen and fibronectin and over laminin 5 secreted into the provisional basement membrane. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been proposed to integrate the individual motile cells into a synchronized colony. We found that outgrowths of human keratinocytes in wounds or epibole cultures display parallel changes in the expression of laminin 5, integrin α3β1, E-cadherin, and the gap junctional protein connexin 43. Adhesion of keratinocytes on laminin 5, collagen, and fibronectin was found to differentially regulate GJIC. When keratinocytes were adhered on laminin 5, both structural (assembly of connexin 43 in gap junctions) and functional (dye transfer) assays showed a two- to threefold increase compared with collagen and five- to eightfold over fibronectin. Based on studies with immobilized integrin antibody and integrin-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells, the interaction of integrin α3β1 with laminin 5 was sufficient to promote GJIC. Mapping of intermediate steps in the pathway linking α3β1–laminin 5 interactions to GJIC indicated that protein trafficking and Rho signaling were both required. We suggest that adhesion of epithelial cells to laminin 5 in the basement membrane via α3β1 promotes GJIC that integrates individual cells into synchronized epiboles.
gap junctions; integrins; laminin 5; epidermis; intracellular protein trafficking
The cytokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) has recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD) and other allergic diseases in humans. To further characterize its role in this disease process, transgenic mice were generated that express a keratinocyte-specific, tetracycline-inducible TSLP transgene. Skin-specific overexpression of TSLP resulted in an AD-like phenotype, with the development of eczematous lesions containing inflammatory dermal cellular infiltrates, a dramatic increase in Th2 CD4+ T cells expressing cutaneous homing receptors, and elevated serum levels of IgE. These transgenic mice demonstrate that TSLP can initiate a cascade of allergic inflammation in the skin and provide a valuable animal model for future study of this common disease.
Induction of α6β4 integrin in the differentiated epidermal cell layers in skin is a hallmark of human cutaneous SCC pathogenesis and stimulates chemically induced SCC formation in Invα6β4 transgenic mice, which exhibit persistent expression of α6β4 in the suprabasal epidermal layers. However, the molecular basis for the support of SCC development by suprabasal α6β4 is not fully understood.
We examined the relevance for suprabasal α6β4 expression in the epidermis for the recruitment of immunosuppressive leukocytes during the early stages of tumor promotion.
In this study, we made use of the Invα6β4 transgenic mouse model, which exhibits expression of α6β4 integrin in the suprabasal layers of the epidermis driven by the involucrin promoter. First, we examined protein lysates from Invα6β4 transgenic skin using a pro-inflammatory cytokine array panel. Next, we immunofluorescence labeling of murine skin sections was employed to immunophenotype tumor promoter-treated Invα6β4 transgenic skin. Finally, a M-CSF neutralizing antibody strategy was administered to resolve Invα6β4 transgenic skin inflammation.
Employing the Invα6β4 transgenic mouse model, we show that suprabasal α6β4 integrin expression selectively alters the profile of secreted pro-inflammatory molecules by epidermal cells, in particular CXCL5 and M-CSF, in response to acute tumor promoter treatment. The induction of CXCL5 and M-CSF in Invα6β4 transgenic epidermis was shortly followed by an exacerbated influx of CD200R+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), which co-expressed the M-CSF receptor, and FoxP3+ Treg cells compared to wild-type mice. As a result, the levels of activated CD4+ T lymphocytes were dramatically diminished in Invα6β4 transgenic compared to wild-type skin, whereas similar levels of lymphocyte activation were observed in the peripheral blood. Finally, TPA-induced CD200R+ infiltrative cells and epidermal proliferation were suppressed in Invα6β4 mice treated with M-CSF neutralizing antibodies.
We conclude that aberrant expression of α6β4 integrin in post-mitotic epidermal keratinocytes stimulates a pro-tumorigenic skin microenvironment by augmenting the influx of immunosuppressive granular cells during tumor promotion.
skin carcinogenesis; myeloid-derived suppressor cell; microenvironment; squamous cell carcinoma; keratinocyte
The RAS signaling pathway is constitutively activated in psoriatic keratinocytes. We expressed activated H-RASV12G in suprabasal keratinocytes of adult mice and observed rapid development of a psoriasis-like skin phenotype characterized by basal keratinocyte hyperproliferation, acanthosis, hyperkeratosis, intraepidermal neutrophil microabscesses and increased Th1/Th17 and Tc1/Tc17 skin infiltration. The majority of skin infiltrating CD8+ T cells co-expressed IFN-γ and IL-17A. When RAS was expressed on a Rag1−/− background, microabscess formation, iNOS expression and keratinocyte hyperproliferation were suppressed. Depletion of CD8+ but not CD4+ T cells reduced cutaneous and systemic inflammation, the RAS-induced increase in cutaneous Th17 and IL-17+ γΔ T cells, and epidermal hyperproliferation to levels similar to a Rag1−/− background. Reconstitution of Rag1−/− inducible RAS mice with purified CD8+ T cells restored microabscess formation and epidermal hyperproliferation. Neutralization of IFN-γ but not IL-17A in CD8+ T cell reconstituted Rag1−/− mice expressing RAS blocked CD8-mediated skin inflammation, iNOS expression and keratinocyte hyperproliferation. These results show for that CD8+ T cells can orchestrate skin inflammation with psoriasis-like pathology in response to constitutive RAS activation in keratinocytes, and this is primarily mediated through IFN-γ.
CD8+ T cells; RAS; psoriasis model; inflammation
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) infect keratinocytes of skin and mucosa. Homeostasis of these constantly renewing, stratified epithelia is maintained by balanced keratinocyte proliferation and terminal differentiation. Instructions from the extracellular matrix engaging integrins strongly regulate these keratinocyte functions. The papillomavirus life cycle parallels the differentiation program of stratified epithelia, and viral progeny is produced only in terminally differentiating keratinocytes. Whereas papillomavirus oncoproteins can inhibit keratinocyte differentiation, the viral transcription factor E2 seems to counterbalance the impact of oncoproteins. In this study we show that high expression of HPV type 8 (HPV8) E2 in cultured primary keratinocytes leads to strong down-regulation of β4-integrin expression levels, partial reduction of β1-integrin, and detachment of transfected keratinocytes from underlying structures. Unlike HPV18 E2-expressing keratinocytes, HPV8 E2 transfectants did not primarily undergo apoptosis. HPV8 E2 partially suppressed β4-integrin promoter activity by binding to a specific E2 binding site leading to displacement of at least one cellular DNA binding factor. To our knowledge, we show for the first time that specific E2 binding contributes to regulation of a cellular promoter. In vivo, decreased β4-integrin expression is associated with detachment of keratinocytes from the underlying basement membrane and their egress from the basal to suprabasal layers. In papillomavirus disease, β4-integrin down-regulation in keratinocytes with higher E2 expression may push virally infected cells into the transit-amplifying compartment and ensure their commitment to the differentiation process required for virus replication.
The transcription factor serum response factor (SRF) plays a crucial role in the development of several organs. However, its role in the skin has not been explored. Here, we show that keratinocytes in normal human and mouse skin expressed high levels of SRF but that SRF expression was strongly downregulated in the hyperproliferative epidermis of wounded and psoriatic skin. Keratinocyte-specific deletion within the mouse SRF locus during embryonic development caused edema and skin blistering, and all animals died in utero. Postnatal loss of mouse SRF in keratinocytes resulted in the development of psoriasis-like skin lesions. These lesions were characterized by inflammation, hyperproliferation, and abnormal differentiation of keratinocytes as well as by disruption of the actin cytoskeleton. Ultrastructural analysis revealed markedly reduced cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts and loss of cell compaction in all epidermal layers. siRNA-mediated knockdown of SRF in primary human keratinocytes revealed that the cytoskeletal abnormalities and adhesion defects were a direct consequence of the loss of SRF. In contrast, the hyperproliferation observed in vivo was an indirect effect that was most likely a consequence of the inflammation. These results reveal that loss of SRF disrupts epidermal homeostasis and strongly suggest its involvement in the pathogenesis of hyperproliferative skin diseases, including psoriasis.
A major issue in long-term gene therapy is host immune responses to therapeutic cells when transgene encodes a potential antigen. The nature of these responses depends on several factors including the type of cell and tissue expressing the transgene. Keratinocytes and fibroblasts, which are known to display distinct immunogenic profiles, are both potential targets for transgene expression in cutaneous gene therapy. However, whether there is an immunological advantage in targeting one cell type over the other is not known. To study the effect of cell type on transgene-specific host responses independent of antigen levels or methods of gene transfer and transplantation, we used a skin transplantation model in which transgene expression can be targeted transgene to either keratinocytes or fibroblasts. Although targeting an antigen to either cell type resulted in the induction of immune responses, these responses differed significantly. Transgenic keratinocytes were rejected acutely by a dominant Th2 response, while in the majority of grafted animals transgenic fibroblasts failed to induce acute rejection despite the induction of Th1 type inflammation in the graft. In a small number of mice, transgenic fibroblasts persisted for at least 20 weeks despite elicitation of antigen-specific responses. Therefore, fibroblasts may be an immunologically preferred target over keratinocytes for cutaneous gene therapy.
Skin; Gene therapy; Fibroblast; keratinocytes; Immune responses
Overexpression of Transforming Growth Factor Beta1 (TGFβ1) in mouse epidermis causes cutaneous inflammation and keratinocyte hyperproliferation. Here, we examined acute effects of TGFβ1 overproduction by keratinocytes on skin dendritic cells (DCs). TGFβ1 induction for 2 and 4 days increased numbers and CD86 expression of B220+ plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and CD207+CD103+, CD207−CD103−CD11b+ and CD207−CD103−CD11b− dermal DCs (dDCs) in skin draining lymph nodes (SDLN). The dermis of TGFβ1-overexpressing mice had significantly more pDCs, CD207+CD103+ dDCs and CD207-CD11b+ dDCs in the absence of increased dermal proliferation. Application of dye, TRITC, in dibutylpthalate (DBP) solution after TGFβ1 induction increased the numbers of TRITC+CD207− dDCs in SDLN, and augmented TRITC/DBP-induced Langerhans cell (LC) migration 72 hrs post-TRITC treatment. Consistent with this, LC migration was increased in vitro by TGFβ1 overexpression in skin explants and by exogenous TGFβ1 in culture media. Transient TGFβ1 induction during DNFB sensitization increased contact hypersensitivity responses by 1.5-fold. Thus, elevated epidermal TGFβ1 alone is sufficient to alter homeostasis of multiple cutaneous DC subsets and enhance DC migration and immune responses to contact sensitizers. These results highlight a role for keratinocyte-derived TGFβ1 in DC trafficking and the initiation of skin inflammation.
TGFβ1; DC subsets; dermis; skin-draining lymph nodes; contact hypersensitivity
Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most frequent type of cancer in humans. In this study we demonstrate that elevated IKKα expression in murine epidermis increases the malignancy potential of skin tumors. We describe the generation of transgenic mice overexpressing IKKα in the basal, proliferative layer of the epidermis and in the outer root sheath of hair follicles. The epidermis of K5-IKKα transgenic animals shows several alterations such as hyperproliferation, mislocalized expression of integrin-α6 and downregulation of the tumor suppressor maspin. Treatment of the back skin of mice with the mitogenic agent 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate causes in transgenic mice the appearance of different preneoplastic changes such as epidermal atypia with loss of cell polarity and altered epidermal tissue architecture, while in wild type littermates this treatment only leads to the development of benign epidermal hyperplasia. Moreover, in skin carcinogenesis assays, transgenic mice carrying active Ha-ras (K5-IKKα-Tg.AC mice) develop invasive tumors, instead of the benign papillomas arising in wild type-Tg-AC mice also bearing an active Ha-ras. Therefore we provide evidence for a tumor promoter role of IKKα in skin cancer, similarly to what occurs in other neoplasias, including hepatocarcinomas and breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. The altered expression of cyclin D1, maspin and integrin-α6 in skin of transgenic mice provides, at least in part, the molecular bases for the increased malignant potential found in the K5-IKKα skin tumors.
The proto-oncogene c-myc encodes a transcription factor that is implicated in the regulation of cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis and that has also been found to be deregulated in several forms of human and experimental tumors. We have shown that forced expression of c-myc in epithelial tissues of transgenic mice (K5-Myc) resulted in keratinocyte hyperproliferation and the development of spontaneous tumors in the skin and oral cavity. Although a number of genes involved in cancer development are regulated by c-myc, the actual mechanisms leading to Myc-induced neoplasia are not known. Among the genes regulated by Myc is the cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) gene. Interestingly, previous studies from our laboratory showed that the overexpression of CDK4 led to keratinocyte hyperproliferation, although no spontaneous tumor development was observed. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that CDK4 may be one of the critical downstream genes involved in Myc carcinogenesis. Our results showed that CDK4 inhibition in K5-Myc transgenic mice resulted in the complete inhibition of tumor development, suggesting that CDK4 is a critical mediator of tumor formation induced by deregulated Myc. Furthermore, a lack of CDK4 expression resulted in marked decreases in epidermal thickness and keratinocyte proliferation compared to the results obtained for K5-Myc littermates. Biochemical analysis of the K5-Myc epidermis showed that CDK4 mediates the proliferative activities of Myc by sequestering p21Cip1 and p27Kip1 and thereby indirectly activating CDK2 kinase activity. These results show that CDK4 mediates the proliferative and oncogenic activities of Myc in vivo through a mechanism that involves the sequestration of specific CDK inhibitors.
Loss of FGFRs results in skin abnormalities due to activation of keratinocytes and epidermal T cells.
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are master regulators of organogenesis and tissue homeostasis. In this study, we used different combinations of FGF receptor (FGFR)-deficient mice to unravel their functions in the skin. Loss of the IIIb splice variants of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in keratinocytes caused progressive loss of skin appendages, cutaneous inflammation, keratinocyte hyperproliferation, and acanthosis. We identified loss of FGF-induced expression of tight junction components with subsequent deficits in epidermal barrier function as the mechanism underlying the progressive inflammatory skin disease. The defective barrier causes activation of keratinocytes and epidermal γδ T cells, which produce interleukin-1 family member 8 and S100A8/A9 proteins. These cytokines initiate an inflammatory response and induce a double paracrine loop through production of keratinocyte mitogens by dermal cells. Our results identify essential roles for FGFs in the regulation of the epidermal barrier and in the prevention of cutaneous inflammation, and highlight the importance of stromal–epithelial interactions in skin homeostasis and disease.
The keratinocyte growth factor (KGF/FGF7), produced by stromal cells, is a key paracrine mediator of epithelial proliferation, differentiation and migration. Expression of the growth factor is increased in wound healing and in hyperproliferative epithelial diseases, as a consequence of the activation of dermal fibroblasts by the inflammatory microenvironment. The middle ear cholesteatoma, an aural epidermal pathology characterized by keratinocyte hyperproliferation and chronic inflammation, may represent a model condition to study the epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. To develop an in vitro model for this disease, we isolated and characterized human primary cultures of fibroblasts associated with the cholesteatoma lesion, analyzing their secretory behaviour and degree of differentiation or activation. Compared to the perilesional or control normal fibroblasts, all cultures derived from cholesteatoma tissues were less proliferating and more differentiated and their highly variable activated phenotype correlated with the secretion of KGF as well as of metalloproteases 2 and 9. Culture supernatants collected from the cholesteatoma-associated fibroblasts were able to increase the proliferation and differentiation of human keratinocytes assessed by the expression of Ki67 and keratin-1 markers. The single crucial contribution of the KGF released by fibroblasts on the keratinocyte biological response was shown by the specific, although partial, block induced by inhibiting the KGF receptor or by immunoneutralizing the growth factor. Altogether, these results suggest that the activation of the stromal fibroblasts present in the pathological tissue, and the consequent increased secretion of KGF, play a crucial role in the deregulation of the epidermal proliferation and differentiation.
Keratinocyte growth factor; Fibroblast growth factor; Cholesteatoma; Cultured human fibroblasts; Metalloproteases
The transcription factor Ets1 is expressed at low levels in epidermal keratinocytes under physiological conditions, but is over-expressed in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We previously showed that over-expression of Ets1 in differentiated keratinocytes of the skin leads to significant pro-tumorigenic alterations. Here, we further extend these studies by testing the effects of over-expressing Ets1 in the proliferative basal keratinocytes of the skin, which includes the putative epidermal stem cells. We show that induction of the Ets1 transgene in the basal layer of skin during embryogenesis results in epidermal hyperplasia and impaired differentiation accompanied by attenuated expression of spinous and granular layer markers. A similar hyper-proliferative skin phenotype was observed when the transgene was induced in the basal layer of the skin of adult mice leading to hair loss and open sores. The Ets1-mediated phenotype is accompanied by a variety of changes in gene expression including alterations in Notch signaling, a crucial mediator of normal skin differentiation. Finally, we show that Ets1 disrupts Notch signaling in part via its ability to upregulate ΔNp63, an established transcriptional repressor of several of the Notch receptors. Given the established tumor suppressive role for Notch signaling in skin tumorigenesis, the demonstrated ability of Ets1 to interfere with this signaling pathway may be important in mediating its pro-tumorigenic activities.
Transcription; Differentiation; Epidermis; Notch; Transgenic mice
Injury to the skin results in an induction of keratins K6, K16, and
K17 concomitant with activation of keratinocytes for
reepithelialization. Forced expression of human K16 in skin epithelia
of transgenic mice causes a phenotype that mimics several aspects of
keratinocyte activation. Two types of transgenic keratinocytes,
with forced expression of either human K16 or a K16-C14 chimeric cDNA,
were analyzed in primary culture to assess the impact of K16 expression
at a cellular level. High K16-C14-expressing and low K16-expressing
transgenic keratinocytes behave similar to wild type in all aspects
tested. In contrast, high K16-expressing transgenic keratinocytes show
alterations in plating efficiency and calcium-induced differentiation,
but proliferate normally. Migration of keratinocytes is reduced in K16
transgenic skin explants compared with controls. Finally, a subset of
high K16-expressing transgenic keratinocytes develops major changes in
the organization of keratin filaments in a time- and calcium
concentration-dependent manner. These changes coincide with alterations
in keratin content while the steady-state levels of K16 protein remain
stable. We conclude that forced expression of K16 in progenitor skin
keratinocytes directly impacts properties such as adhesion,
differentiation, and migration, and that these effects depend upon
determinants contained within its carboxy terminus.
Synapsin 1 (SYN1) is a phosphoprotein involved in nerve signal transmission. The porcine SYN1 promoter orthologue was cloned and characterized to provide a means of expressing a transgene specifically in neurons. The nucleotide sequence of the promoter displayed a high degree of conservation of elements responsible for neuron-specific expression. Expression analysis of SYN1 demonstrated presence of transcript during embryonic development. Analysis of GFP expression in transgenic zebrafish embryos suggests that the pig SYN1 promoter directs expression in neuronal cells. Thus, the SYN1 promoter is a good candidate for use in the generation of pig models of human neurodegenerative disorders.
•The porcine synapsin1 (SYN1) promoter was cloned and characterized.•SYN1 mRNA expression is detected in brain during embryo development.•The SYN1 gene is mapped to pig chromosome X.•Porcine SYN1 directs GFP expression in neuronal cells of transgenic zebrafish.
GFP; Neuron-specific promoter; Pig; Transgenic; Zebrafish; Ab, antibody; BSG, basal ganglia; BST, brain stem; CBE, cerebellum; Chr, chromosome; CMV, cytomegalovirus; FB, forebrain; FCO, frontal cortex; GFP, green fluorescent protein; HB, hindbrain; HIP, hippocampus; LLG, lateral line ganglion; MB, midbrain; NRSE, neuron restrictive silencer element; OC, optic chiasm; ON, olfactory neuron; R, retina; REST, RE1-silencing transcription factor; TG, trigeminal ganglion; TSS, transcription start site; WPRE, Woodchuck hepatitits virus Post-transcriptional Regulatory Element
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is caused by Leishmania infection of dermal macrophages and is associated with chronic inflammation of the skin. L. aethiopica infection displays two clinical manifestations, firstly ulcerative disease, correlated to a relatively low parasite load in the skin, and secondly non-ulcerative disease in which massive parasite infiltration of the dermis occurs in the absence of ulceration of epidermis. Skin ulceration is linked to a vigorous local inflammatory response within the skin towards infected macrophages. Fas ligand (FasL) and Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) expressing cells are present in dermis in ulcerative CL and both death ligands cause apoptosis of keratinocytes in the context of Leishmania infection. In the present report we show a differential expression of FasL and TRAIL in ulcerative and non-ulcerative disease caused by L. aethiopica. In vitro experiments confirmed direct FasL- and TRAIL-induced killing of human keratinocytes in the context of Leishmania-induced inflammatory microenvironment. Systemic neutralisation of FasL and TRAIL reduced ulceration in a model of murine Leishmania infection with no effect on parasitic loads or dissemination. Interestingly, FasL neutralisation reduced neutrophil infiltration into the skin during established infection, suggesting an additional proinflammatory role of FasL in addition to direct keratinocyte killing in the context of parasite-induced skin inflammation. FasL signalling resulting in recruitment of activated neutrophils into dermis may lead to destruction of the basal membrane and thus allow direct FasL mediated killing of exposed keratinocytes in vivo. Based on our results we suggest that therapeutic inhibition of FasL and TRAIL could limit skin pathology during CL.
Cutaneous leishmaniases are associated with parasite-induced inflammatory lesions of the skin. The degree of clinical pathology is not associated with parasitic burden; on the contrary, ulcerative lesions are associated with low infectious load, and non-ulcerative lesions are associated with an abundant parasite infiltration. Leishmania are intracellular parasites in mammalian hosts and reside in macrophages in the deep layers of the skin, the dermis. The exact mechanism of ulceration in CL is not known and Leishmania parasites do not directly induce destruction of keratinocytes in the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. In this study we investigated if ulcerated lesions were associated with higher expression of FasL- and TRAIL-induced cell-death of keratinocytes. We found a higher expression of FasL and TRAIL in human skin samples from ulcerative as compared to non-ulcerative leishmaniasis. In a mouse model of ulcerative leishmaniasis neutralisation of FasL and TRAIL reduced ulceration. We suggest that FasL and TRAIL participate in the ulcer formation during leishmaniasis both as a chemoattractant of activated neutrophils leading to tissue destruction and through direct killing of keratinocytes. Possible approaches to use this concept in therapeutical interventions with the aim to reduce immunopathology associated with leishmaniasis are discussed.
Psoriasis is a human skin condition characterized by epidermal hyperproliferation and infiltration of multiple leukocyte populations. In characterizing a novel insulin growth factor (IGF)-like (IGFL) gene in mice (mIGFL), we found transcripts of this gene to be most highly expressed in skin with enhanced expression in models of skin wounding and psoriatic-like inflammation. A possible functional ortholog in humans, IGFL1, was uniquely and significantly induced in psoriatic skin samples. In vitro IGFL1 expression was up-regulated in cultured primary keratinocytes stimulated with tumor necrosis factor α but not by other psoriasis-associated cytokines. Finally, using a secreted and transmembrane protein library, we discovered high affinity interactions between human IGFL1 and mIGFL and the TMEM149 ectodomain. TMEM149 (renamed here as IGFLR1) is an uncharacterized gene with structural similarity to the tumor necrosis factor receptor family. Our studies demonstrate that IGFLR1 is expressed primarily on the surface of mouse T cells. The connection between mIGFL and IGFLR1 receptor suggests mIGFL may influence T cell biology within inflammatory skin conditions.
Cell Surface Receptor; Cytokine; Immunology; Inflammation; Ligand-binding Protein; Protein Domains; Protein-Protein Interactions; Receptors; Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF); TNF Receptors
Cutaneous radiation syndrome (CRS) is the delayed consequence of localized skin exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation. Here we examined for the first time in a large animal model the therapeutic potential of autologous adipose tissue-derived stroma cells (ASCs). For experiments, Göttingen minipigs were locally gamma irradiated using a 60Co source at the dose of 50 Gy and grafted (n = 5) or not (n = 8). ASCs were cultured in MEM-alpha with 10% fetal calf serum and basic fibroblast growth factor (2 ng.mL−1) and post irradiation were intradermally injected on days 25, 46, 67 and finally between days 95 and 115 (50×106 ASCs each time) into the exposed area. All controls exhibited a clinical evolution with final necrosis (day 91). In grafted pigs an ultimate wound healing was observed in four out of five grafted animals (day 130 +/− 28). Immunohistological analysis of cytokeratin expression showed a complete epidermis recovery. Grafted ASCs accumulated at the dermis/subcutis barrier in which they attracted numerous immune cells, and even an increased vasculature in one pig. Globally this study suggests that local injection of ASCs may represent a useful strategy to mitigate CRS.
The pig is emerging as a model species that bridges the gap between rodents and humans in research. In particular, the miniature pig (referred to hereafter as the minipig) is increasingly being used as non-rodent species in pharmacological and toxicological studies. However, there is as yet a lack of validated behavioral tests for pigs, although there is evidence that the spatial holeboard task can be used to assess the working and reference memory of pigs. In the present study, we compared the learning performance of commercial pigs and Göttingen minipigs in a holeboard task.
Biperiden, a muscarinic M1 receptor blocker, is used to induce impairments in cognitive function in animal research. The two groups of pigs were treated orally with increasing doses of biperiden (0.05 – 20 mg.kg-1) after they had reached asymptotic performance in the holeboard task.
Both the conventional pigs and the Göttingen minipigs learned the holeboard task, reaching nearly errorless asymptotic working and reference memory performance within approximately 100 acquisition trials. Biperiden treatment affected reference, but not working, memory, increasing trial duration and the latency to first hole visit at doses ≥ 5 mg.kg-1.
Both pig breeds learned the holeboard task and had a comparable performance. Biperiden had only a minor effect on holeboard performance overall, and mainly on reference memory performance. The effectiveness needs to be evaluated further before definitive conclusions can be drawn about the ability of this potential cognition impairer in pigs.
Working memory; Reference memory; Animal model; Holeboard task; Spatial learning task; Biperiden
Thrombomodulin is an endothelial cell surface glycoprotein that inhibits the procoagulant activities of thrombin and accelerates activation of the anticoagulant protein C. Because protein C deficiency is associated with cutaneous thrombosis, we investigated the expression of thrombomodulin in human skin. Thrombomodulin was detected by immunohistochemical staining both in dermal endothelial cells and in epidermal keratinocytes. Within the epidermis, thrombomodulin staining was limited to keratinocytes of the spinous layer, suggesting that thrombomodulin is induced when basal keratinocytes begin to terminally differentiate. Thrombomodulin expression also correlated with squamous differentiation in epidermal malignancies; little or no thrombomodulin staining was seen in five basal cell carcinomas, whereas strong thrombomodulin staining was observed in each of five squamous cell carcinomas. Human foreskin keratinocytes cultured in medium containing 0.07 mM calcium chloride synthesized functional thrombomodulin with cofactor activity comparable to thrombomodulin in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Stimulation of keratinocyte differentiation with 1.4 mM calcium chloride for 48 h produced 3.5-, 3.2-, and 5.6-fold increases in thrombomodulin cofactor activity, antigen, and mRNA, respectively. These observations suggest that thrombin is regulated by keratinocyte thrombomodulin at sites of cutaneous injury, and indicate a potential role for thrombomodulin in epidermal differentiation.