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1.  Toll-like receptor 2 activation and comedogenesis: implications for the pathogenesis of acne 
BMC Dermatology  2013;13:10.
Background
Acne is a common disorder of the human pilosebaceous unit, yet the mechanisms underlying hyperkeratinisation and subsequent inflammation (comedogenesis) remain to be determined, although cutaneous pathogens are implicated. Previously, it was reported that the release of the cytokine interleukin-1α (IL-1α) by keratinocytes of the sebaceous duct was pivotal in the life cycle of the comedone, mediating both its development and its spontaneous resolution. Toll-like receptors are a family of molecules that recognise pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) presented by microorganisms, initiating a signalling cascade terminating in the release of antimicrobial compounds and cytokines.
Methods
We used ex vivo sebaceous gland and primary monolayer keratinocyte culture, alongside ELISAs, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and RT-PCR to investigate the contribution of TLR activation to acne pathogenesis.
Results
We found TLR2 to be expressed in basal and infundibular keratinocytes, and sebaceous glands, and its activation provoked the release of IL-1α from primary human keratinocytes in vitro. The exposure of microdissected human sebaceous glands to PAMPs specific for TLR2 in vitro resulted in a pattern of IL-1α like cornification after seven days of exposure.
Conclusions
TLR activation and secretion of IL-1α from keratinocytes may be initiating steps in comedogenesis and, therefore, critical to the pathophysiology of acne.
doi:10.1186/1471-5945-13-10
PMCID: PMC3846817  PMID: 24011352
Acne vulgaris; Toll-like receptors; Peptidoglycan; Interleukin-1alpha; Keratinocytes
2.  Prohepcidin Levels in Refractory Anaemia Caused by Lead Poisoning 
Recent research evidence suggests a central role for hepcidin in iron homeostasis. Hepcidin is a hormone synthesized in the liver. Hepcidin is also thought to play a vital role in the pathogenic mechanism of anaemia in patients with inflammation or chronic disease. A 38-year-old female who presented with recurrent abdominal pain was found to have raised urinary porphyrins and a blood lead level of 779 μg/l. Her haemoglobin level was 8.3 g/dl. Her MCV was normal. Serum ferritin, B12 and folate were normal. Her serum prohepcidin level was 2,489 ng/ml (normal <450 ng/ml). To our knowledge, this is the first report of raised prohepcidin levels in a patient with anaemia of chronic disease resulting from lead poisoning.
doi:10.1159/000118035
PMCID: PMC3075166  PMID: 21490838
Hepcidin; Prohepcidin; Lead poisoning; Porphyrins; Abdominal pain; Sideroblastic anaemia

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