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2.  Luteolin Prevents Solar Radiation-Induced Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 Activation in Human Fibroblasts: A Role for p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase and Interleukin-20 Released from Keratinocytes 
Rejuvenation Research  2012;15(5):466-475.
Human skin is continuously exposed to solar radiation, which can result in photoaging, a process involving both dermal and, to a lesser extent, epidermal structures. Previously, we have shown that the flavonoid luteolin protects the epidermis from ultraviolet (UV)-induced damage by a combination of UV-absorbing, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory properties. The aim of the present study was to determine direct and indirect effects of luteolin on dermal fibroblasts as major targets of photoaging. Stimulation of fibroblasts with UVA light or the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-20 (IL-20) is associated with wrinkled skin, increased IL-6 secretion, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-1) expression, and hyaluronidase activity. All of these targets were inhibited by luteolin via interference with the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Next, we assessed the role of conditioned supernatants from keratinocytes irradiated with solar-simulated radiation (SSR) on nonirradiated dermal fibroblasts. In keratinocytes, luteolin inhibited SSR-induced production of IL-20, also via interference with the p38 MAPK pathway. Similarly, keratinocyte supernatant-induced IL-6 and MMP-1 expression in fibroblasts was reduced by pretreatment of keratinocytes with luteolin. Finally, these results were confirmed ex vivo on skin explants treated with luteolin before UV irradiation. Our results suggest that SSR-mediated production of soluble factors in keratinocytes is modulated by luteolin and may attenuate photoaging in dermal fibroblasts.
PMCID: PMC3482844  PMID: 23004935
3.  Integrin α3 Mutations with Kidney, Lung, and Skin Disease 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2012;366(16):1508-1514.
Integrin α3 is a transmembrane integrin receptor subunit that mediates signals between the cells and their microenvironment. We identified three patients with homozygous mutations in the integrin α3 gene that were associated with disrupted basement-membrane structures and compromised barrier functions in kidney, lung, and skin. The patients had a multiorgan disorder that included congenital nephrotic syndrome, interstitial lung disease, and epidermolysis bullosa. The renal and respiratory features predominated, and the lung involvement accounted for the lethal course of the disease. Although skin fragility was mild, it provided clues to the diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3341404  PMID: 22512483
4.  Contact Sensitizers Induce Skin Inflammation via ROS Production and Hyaluronic Acid Degradation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41340.
Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) represents a severe health problem with increasing worldwide prevalence. It is a T cell-mediated skin disease induced by protein-reactive organic and inorganic chemicals. A key feature of contact allergens is their ability to trigger an innate immune response that leads to skin inflammation. Previous evidence from the mouse contact hypersensitivity (CHS) model suggests a role for endogenous activators of innate immune signaling. Here, we analyzed the role of contact sensitizer induced ROS production and concomitant changes in hyaluronic acid metabolism on CHS responses.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We analyzed in vitro and in vivo ROS production using fluorescent ROS detection reagents. HA fragmentation was determined by gel electrophoresis. The influence of blocking ROS production and HA degradation by antioxidants, hyaluronidase-inhibitor or p38 MAPK inhibitor was analyzed in the murine CHS model. Here, we demonstrate that organic contact sensitizers induce production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a concomitant breakdown of the extracellular matrix (ECM) component hyaluronic acid (HA) to pro-inflammatory low molecular weight fragments in the skin. Importantly, inhibition of either ROS-mediated or enzymatic HA breakdown prevents sensitization as well as elicitation of CHS.
These data identify an indirect mechanism of contact sensitizer induced innate inflammatory signaling involving the breakdown of the ECM and generation of endogenous danger signals. Our findings suggest a beneficial role for anti-oxidants and hyaluronidase inhibitors in prevention and treatment of ACD.
PMCID: PMC3405137  PMID: 22848468
5.  Lack of the purinergic receptor P2X7 results in resistance to contact hypersensitivity 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2010;207(12):2609-2619.
Engagement of P2X7 on mouse dendritic cells, presumably by ATP released in response to contact allergen, is needed for IL-1β production and the sensitization phase of contact hypersensitivity.
Sensitization to contact allergens requires activation of the innate immune system by endogenous danger signals. However, the mechanisms through which contact allergens activate innate signaling pathways are incompletely understood. In this study, we demonstrate that mice lacking the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) receptor P2X7 are resistant to contact hypersensitivity (CHS). P2X7-deficient dendritic cells fail to induce sensitization to contact allergens and do not release IL-1β in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and ATP. These defects are restored by pretreatment with LPS and alum in an NLRP3- and ASC-dependent manner. Whereas pretreatment of wild-type mice with P2X7 antagonists, the ATP-degrading enzyme apyrase or IL-1 receptor antagonist, prevents CHS, IL-1β injection restores CHS in P2X7-deficient mice. Thus, P2X7 is a crucial receptor for extracellular ATP released in skin in response to contact allergens. The lack of P2X7 triggering prevents IL-1β release, which is an essential step in the sensitization process. Interference with P2X7 signaling may be a promising strategy for the prevention of allergic contact dermatitis.
PMCID: PMC2989767  PMID: 21059855

Results 1-5 (5)