The etiology of lichen planus (LP) is still unknown and previous studies have found an association between LP and HLA-DR1, DR2, DR3, DR9 and DR10 in different populations. The aim of this study was to analyze the distribution of the HLA-DRB1 alleles in Mexican Mestizo patients with LP. The aim of this study was to determine the gene frequency of HLA-DR locus in Mexican Mestizo patients with LP. We studied 20 patients with LP and 99 healthy Mexican Mestizo controls. HLA-DRB1 was performed by PCR-SSO reverse dot blot hybridization. High resolution HLA typing was performed by PCR-SSP. The HLA-DRB1*0101 allele was associated significantly in LP patients compared with healthy controls (pC = 0.0007, OR = 5.46, 95% CI = 1.86-16.06). HLA-DRB1*0101 is a marker for the development of LP in Mexican Mestizo population, yet another gene or HLA marker within MHC region may be the causatively associated gene.
Psoriasis vulgaris has HLA associations. We have previously defined HLA-Cw6,DR7,DQA1*0201 as the central element of the risk haplotypes for psoriasis. On the other hand, Cw6 as a single gene has the strongest association with psoriasis. The aim of this study was to determine whether the risk haplotype and Cw6 correlate with the clinical parameters of the disease. The series consisted of 64 patients and the clinical parameters were age at onset, family history of psoriasis, arthritis and the frequency of inpatient treatment. The HLA risk haplotype Cw6,DR7,DQA1*0201 had previously been found in 30% and Cw6 alone in 54% of the patients. The presence of Cw6 correlated with early age at onset (P
c=0.01). The presence of the risk haplotype correlated with a positive family history of psoriasis among the first-degree relatives (P
c=0.02) and an overall positive family history (P
c=0.04), but Cw6 had a stronger correlation with an overall positive family history (P
c=0.01). There were no positive correlations with arthritis or the number of inpatient treatment periods. Only type I psoriasis was associated with Cw6 (P
c=0.0006). In conclusion, Cw6 and the haplotype Cw6,DR7,DQA1*0201 are important in the heredity of psoriasis vulgaris, but the presence of Cw6 alone is sufficient to indicate a clinically significant risk for psoriasis.
Psoriasis vulgaris is a skin disease with an immunological and genetic background present in 1-3% of the population. We studied the genetic susceptibility to psoriasis vulgaris in Finns with serological HLA typing and genomic HLA class II typing of the DQ and DP loci to evaluate the risk of developing psoriasis. The haplotypes most frequently distinguishing between psoriatics and controls were those that carried Cw6 (P < 10(-8)), DQA1*0201 (P = 9.3 x 10(-6)) and DR7 (P = 3.9 x 10(-5)). The two most frequent marker haplotypes were A2,B13,Cw6,DR7, DQA1*0201 and A1,B17,Cw6,DR7,DQA1*0201, which were not found among the control subjects. A deficit of haplotype B8,DR3,DQ2 (2 out of 124 in the patients versus 15 out of 106 in the controls, P = 1.5 x 10(-4)) was found, and this was in accordance with a slightly decreased frequency of DQA1*0501 (P = 3.1 x 10(-2)), which was usually linked with this haplotype. These results stimulate the research for a genetic resistance factor in psoriasis. Thus, this report sheds further light on the immunogenetic background of psoriasis in Finland. We conclude that the inheritance of psoriasis has a polygenic mode, in which the Cw6,DR7,DQA1*0201 combination seems to be important (P = 7.5 x 10(-7), relative risk 24.4, aetiological factor 0.29).
1,2,3,4-Tetrahydro-1,1,4,4-tetramethyl-y-[(E)-alpha-methylstyryl]- naphthalene (Ro 15-0778), a potent inhibitor of sebaceous gland activity in several animal models has been administered to male volunteers in dosages of 1, 2, 3, and 6 mg/kg/day and 2 g/day for 8 weeks. Sebum production was measured before treatment and after 4 and 8 weeks of therapy. At the dosage levels of 1, 2, 3, and 6 mg/kg/day there was no decrease in sebum secretion. With the dosage of 2 g/day, a significant decrease in sebum secretion was seen after 8 weeks of treatment with Ro 15-0778.
Retinoids are known to modulate sebaceous gland activity in humans and animals. The nonpolar arotinoid Ro 15-0778 [(E)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1,1,4,4-tetramethyl-6-(1-methyl-2-phenylethen yl) naphthalene] does not contain a polar end group and is devoid of the classical retinoid side effects of hypervitaminosis A. The favorable toxicological profile stimulated the evaluation of this arotinoid in animal models of sebum production. In castrated, testosterone-stimulated male rats, Ro 15-0778 is 50 times more potent than 13-cis-retinoic acid in inhibiting the production and subsequent secretion of sebum. The oral ED50 value of Ro 15-0778 is 30 micrograms/kg, while an oral dose of 0.5 mg/kg inhibited sebum secretion nearly 100%. In testosterone-stimulated female rats, Ro 15-0778 inhibits sebum secretion significantly with an oral ED50 of 140 micrograms/kg and an s.c. ED50 of 75 micrograms/kg. Ro 15-0778 was also evaluated for its ability to prevent testosterone induction of the immature hamster flank organ. The topical ED50 is 0.53 mg/kg and the oral ED50 is 38 mg/kg. This arotinoid is similarly active in mature male hamsters without testosterone treatment. In addition, the retinoid is active topically and orally in reducing the size of the gerbil abdominal sebaceous gland. The compound exhibits no antiandrogenic activity when tested in ventral prostrate and seminal vesicle assays in rats. Additionally, the compound does not have estrogenic activity when tested in the rat uterine weight assay. High doses of Ro 15-0778 in humans did not demonstrate significant sebum-suppressing activity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
In this study, we examined the cutaneous effects of tacalcitol [1,24(R)(OH)2D3] on epidermal proliferation, differentiation, and skin inflammation in vivo using hairless mice. Tacalcitol was shown to inhibit epidermal proliferation using TPA-induced ornithine decarboxylase activity and DNA synthesis as indices, and the induction of epidermal differentiation using type I transglutaminase activity as an index. Tacalcitol also displayed an antiinflammatory effect on TPA-induced inflammatory changes histopathologically. These results confirm the clinical efficacy of tacalcitol in psoriasis, and suggest that it may be efficacious in the treatment of other inflammatory skin diseases.
This study was conducted to investigate the mechanism of topical absorption of [3H]1,24(OH)2D3 (1,24-dihydroxyvitamin D3; tacalcitol) by applying an ointment containing 4 micrograms2/g [3H]1,24(OH)2D3 to the skin of rats using an occlusion method. Microautoradiography of the skin at the application site 1 h after topical treatment showed a high concentration of radiolabel in the stratum corneum, the epidermis and around the hair follicles. Radiolabel was also seen in the epidermis and hair follicle areas 8 h and 24 h after application. The radiolabel was distributed to a minor extent to the subcutaneous fat layer. Microautoradiography showed two routes of purcutaneous absorption of 1,24(OH)2D3: through the stratum corneum and epidermis into the microvessels, and through hair follicle areas into the bloodstream. After topical application of an ointment containing 4 micrograms/g or 40 micrograms/g [3H]1,24(OH)2D3 to the shaved neck skin of rats, the absorption rate, estimated by excretion in the urine and faeces, was about 30% of the total applied radioactivity. The main excretion route after topical application was in the faeces. Furthermore, 1,24(OH)2D3 added to human adult keratinocytes was not metabolized into other compounds, and only the unchanged compound was detected. These findings strongly suggest that 1,24(OH)2D3 distributed into the epidermis acts on epidermal keratinocytes. Topical application of 1,24(OH)2D3 appears to be a possible approach to the treatment of psoriasis and other skin diseases through its action on the 1,25(OH)2D3 receptor, which reportedly plays a very important role in the regulation of proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes.
We studied the effect of all-trans retinoic acid (all-trans-RA), 9-cis-retinoic acid (9-cis-RA) and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) on proliferation and differentiation of human keratinocytes cultured in a submerged culture system for up to 5 weeks and evaluated changes in cell morphology and in the expression of proliferation- and terminal differentiation-related genes on both the mRNA and the protein levels. Under control culture conditions, the expression of small proline-rich proteins (SPRR1 and SPRR2), involucrin, Ki67 and c-jun reached a maximum after 2 weeks in culture (1 week postconfluence) and then decreased as the tissue architecture of the cultures deteriorated. Upon simultaneous treatment with both retinoids and 1,25(OH)2D3 a culture was generated that remained stable for 4 weeks with at least eight living cell layers. Furthermore, this culture showed a pattern of SPRR2 and involucrin expression which closely resembled that of native epidermis, a maintained Ki67 expression and a strongly induced c-jun expression. Treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3 alone inhibited cell proliferation and stimulated cell differentiation resulting in acceleration of the differentiated phenotype and was accompanied by inhibition of c-jun and Ki67 expression and also, surprisingly by inhibition of SPRR1, SPRR2 and involucrin expression. In contrast, treatment with all-trans-RA and/or 9-cis-RA induced a more proliferative phenotype with a prolonged lifespan as compared to control cultures. SPRR1 was weakly repressed, SPRR2 was strongly repressed, a delayed induction of involucrin occurred, and c-jun and Ki67 expression were maintained. These results show that modulation of the composition of the medium by the addition of various vitamins results in changes in the balance between keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation which correspond to changes in the expression of proliferation and differentiation markers and prolongation of the culture lifespan.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease featuring abnormal keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. A genetic risk factor for psoriasis (PSORS4) is a deletion of LCE3B and LCE3C genes encoding structural proteins in terminally differentiated keratinocytes. Because analogs of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D) are used in psoriasis treatment, we hypothesized that 1,25D acts via the vitamin D receptor (VDR) to upregulate expression of LCE 3A/3D/3E genes, potentially mitigating the absence of LCE3B/LCE3C gene products. Results in a human keratinocyte line, HaCaT, suggested that 1,25D, low affinity VDR ligands docosahexaenoic acid and curcumin, along with a novel candidate ligand, delphinidin, induce LCE transcripts as monitored by qPCR. Further experiments in primary human keratinocytes preincubated with 1.2 mM calcium indicated that 1,25D and 10 μM delphinidin upregulate all five LCE3 genes (LCE3A-E). Competition binding assays employing radiolabeled 1,25D revealed that delphinidin binds VDR weakly (IC50 ≈ 1 mM). However, 20 μM delphinidin was capable of upregulating a luciferase reporter gene in a VDRE-dependent manner in a transfected keratinocyte cell line (KERTr). These results are consistent with a scenario in which delphinidin is metabolized to an active compound that then stimulates LCE3 transcription in a VDR/VDRE-dependent manner. We propose that upregulation of LCE genes may be part of the therapeutic effect of 1,25D to ameliorate psoriasis by providing sufficient LCE proteins, especially in individuals missing the LCE3B and 3C genes. Results with delphinidin further suggest that this compound or its metabolite(s) might offer an alternative to 1,25D in psoriasis therapy.
In search of photoprotective agents, we recently demonstrated a protective effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3
[1,25(OH)2D3] against different events mediated by ultraviolet B (UVB) in human keratinocytes. Pharmacological doses of 1,25(OH)2D3 were required to obtain significant UVB protection; however, these doses cannot be used in vivo due to the calcemic properties of 1,25(OH)2D3. Therefore, we evaluated the photoprotective capacities of two low-calcemic 14-epi analogues of 1,25(OH)2D3, 19-nor-14-epi-23-yne-1,25(OH)2D3
(TX 522) and 19-nor-14,20-bisepi-23-yne-1,25(OH)2D3
(TX 527). Using cultured human keratinocytes, we investigated the influence of TX 522 and TX 527 on two hallmark events in UVB-irradiated keratinocytes: the induction of apoptosis and the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6). Treatment of the keratinocytes with TX 522 or TX 527, 24 h before irradiation, resulted in a significant and dose-dependent reduction of both UVB-induced apoptosis and IL-6 production. Both analogues were equally efficient in their anti-UVB effects and at least 100 times more potent than 1,25(OH)2D3. We further demonstrated that metallothionein (MT) mRNA expression was clearly induced by 1,25(OH)2D3 and both analogues. MT acts as a radical scavenger in oxygen-mediated UVB injury and its induction may therefore be relevant for the anti-UVB effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 and both analogues. Taken together, these findings create new perspectives for the use of active vitamin D analogues as photoprotective agents.
This study demonstrated the presence of increased serum concentrations of 1,25-(OH)2D in patients with systemic sclerosis, in particular in the absence of aberrant calcifications. The low urinary excretion of calcium and phosphate in the entire group of patients with systemic sclerosis may indicate that, as a result or reduced physical performance, these patients have a reduced oral intake of food including calcium and phosphate, and/or they may have a reduced intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate, which is compensated by an increased renal synthesis of 1,25-(OH)2D in patients with no aberrant calcifications, who in our study had a better renal function and were younger.
The active form of vitamin D(3), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D3), regulates proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes. Cystatin A, a cysteine proteinase inhibitor, is a cornified cell envelope constituent and a differentiation marker of keratinocytes. In the present study, we examined the effect of 1,25(OH)(2)D3 on the expression of cystatin A of cultured normal human keratinocytes (NHK). 1,25(OH)(2)D3 suppressed NHK proliferation in a dose-dependent manner with the maximal effect at 1x10(-7) M. It also stimulated cystatin A promoter activity and its expression with similar dose effects. The increased cystatin A was detected by 24 h and the effect was accompanied by the suppression of ERK activity. Cystatin A promoter activity was not affected by cotransfection of vitamin D(3) receptor or retinoid X receptor. Further analyses disclosed that the 12- o-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-responsive element (TRE), T2 (-272 to -278), in cystatin A promoter is critical for the regulation by 1,25(OH)(2)D3. Transfection of the dominant-negative form of ERK adenovirus (Ad-dnERK) increased cystatin A promoter activity and its expression, which was markedly augmented by 1,25(OH)(2)D3 treatment. Transfection of the dominant-active form of Raf-1 (Ad-daRaf-1) or MEK1 (Ad-daMEK1) inhibited 1,25(OH)(2)D3-dependent cystatin A promoter activity and its expression. Consistent with these results, the MEK1 inhibitor, PD98059, further augmented 1,25(OH)(2)D3-induced cystatin A promoter activity and its expression. The present study demonstrated that the 1,25(OH)(2)D3-responsive element in the cystatin A gene is identical to the TRE, T2 (-272 to -278), and that the suppression of Raf-1/MEK1/ERK1,2 signaling pathway increases cystatin A expression of NHK.
Because of the therapeutic potential of oxacalcitriol (OCT, 22-oxa-dihydroxyvitamin D3), in vivo studies were conducted in adult and neonatal rats to identify the nuclear receptor sites of action in different tissues of the skin. Results were compared with those for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) and oestradiol from previous studies. Autoradiograms were prepared from the dorsal skin of adult rats and the skin of the leg and head regions of neonatal rats 1 or 2 h after the injection of 3H-OCT. Specific nuclear concentrations of radioactivity, eliminated by competition with unlabelled OCT or 1,25(OH)2D3, were found in cells of the epidermis, outer hair sheath, hair bulb and sebaceous glands, but were absent or low in most fibroblasts of the dermis and hypodermis. The strongest nuclear binding of OCT was conspicuous in outer hair sheaths, where it was 1.5 to 3.2 times higher than in keratinocytes of the epidermis. The distribution of nuclear receptors for OCT was similar to that for 1,25(OH)2D3 but in part dissimilar to that for oestradiol. Oestradiol binding was found in the epidermis and hair sheaths, and also predominantly in fibroblasts of the dermis and hair dermal papillae. The results suggest genomic regulatory effects of OCT, similar to the effects of vitamin D, on proliferation, differentiation and activity of keratinocytes, growth and maintenance of hair, and proliferation and secretion of sebaceous glands. This may be utilized therapeutically, since OCT has a lower calcaemic effect than 1,25(OH)2D3.
Molecular cloning analysis has detected at least nine adenylate cyclase isozymes in mammalian tissues. Using fetal rat skin keratinocytes (FRSK), we investigated adenylate cyclase expression and its modulation by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), a retinoid (Ro10-1670), and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) indicated that FRSK contain adenylate cyclases I, II, III, IV, VI and VIII. Treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3 (1 x 10(-7) M), Ro10-1670 (1 x 10(-6) M), and TPA (100 ng/ml) resulted in increased forskolin-induced cyclic AMP accumulation by FRSK cells and normal human keratinocytes (NHK). Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analysis, however, detected no alteration in mRNA and protein levels of each adenylate cyclase isozyme for at least 48 h. These results indicate that FRSK contain at least six (I, II, III, IV, VI and VIII) adenylate cyclase isozyme mRNAs, suggesting a complex regulatory mechanism of cyclic AMP generation in keratinocytes. Although 1,25(OH)2D3, Ro10-1670, and TPA augmented forskolin-induced cyclic AMP accumulation, they do not seem to affect the expression of specific adenylate cyclase isozymes by FRSK cells.
The natural biologically active form of vitamin D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), possesses antiproliferative, prodifferentiating and immunomodulatory properties. The actions of 1,25(OH)2D3 are mediated through the intracellular vitamin D receptor (VDR), and the level of VDR is believed to determine the cellular responsiveness to vitamin D3. In the present study we examined the effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 on the expression of VDR and its message in cultured human keratinocytes. Western analysis showed the mean VDR content to be higher in undifferentiated cultures (175 pg/microgram protein) than in differentiated cultures (90 pg/microgram protein). Incubation with 1,25(OH)2D3 induced an increase in the VDR in both undifferentiated and differentiated keratinocytes. The VDR increase was detectable after 2 h and maximal (approximately two-fold stimulation) after 8 h. The 1,25(OH)2D3-induced stimulation of VDR levels was dose dependent with a maximum at 10(-7) M. The VDR mRNA levels as determined by the ribonuclease protection assay showed a peak (50% stimulation) after approximately 2 h. Although this increase in VDR mRNA was not statistically significant, the results indicate that the ligand-induced upregulation of VDR involves increased transcription. The upregulation of VDR levels may increase the responsiveness to 1,25(OH)2D3 and may, therefore, be an important mechanism for regulating the effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 on keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation.
Hyperpigmentation disorders are of social and cosmetic concerns to many individuals due to their prevalent locations on highly visible parts of the body. Topical formulation containing hydroquinone is the most widely used remedy for the treatment of hyperpigmentation disorders. However, reports of side effects in long-term usage have raised concerns for its use in cosmetic products. Thus, it is highly desirable to develop a safe and effective alternative to treat hyperpigmentation disorders. The objective of the current study is to investigate the de-pigmenting efficacy of 4-hexyl-1,3-phenylenediol in various in vitro models and in a randomized controlled clinical study. We showed that 4-hexyl-1,3-phenylenediol significantly reduced melanogenesis in primary human melanocytes, murine melanoma cells, and pigmented human epidermal equivalents. It was determined that the reduction in melanogenesis is mediated through inhibition of tyrosinase enzyme activity and protein expression. Further investigation revealed that the inhibition of melanogenesis is reversible and is not associated with cellular toxicity in melanocytes. In addition, significant improvements in key clinical parameters such as overall skin lightening, appearance of spots on the cheeks, overall contrast between spots and surrounding skin, and overall pigmentation size were detected in a double-blinded, randomized controlled clinical study. In conclusion, our findings clearly demonstrated the potency of 4-hexyl-1,3-phenylenediol in modulating skin pigmentation, and it is safe and well tolerated after 12-week topical application.
Propylene glycol (propane-1,2-diol) is the only diol widely used in dermatology. Pentane-1,5-diol is mainly used as a plasticizer in cellulose products and adhesives, in dental composites and in brake fluid compositions and as a preservative for grain. However, pentane-1,5-diol is also an effective solvent, water-binding substance, antimicrobial agent and preservative and may therefore replace several ingredients in a skin composition. The release of tri-iodothyroacetic acid (TRIAC) and percutaneous absorption of hydrocortisone and mometasone furoate with either pentane-1,5-diol or propane-1,2-diol and 2-methyl-pentane-2,4-diol (hexylene glycol), respectively, as enhancers was compared. The release of TRIAC was 21% higher when pentane-1,5-diol was used as an enhancer instead of propane-1,2-diol. The percutaneous absorption of hydrocortisone through the skin was increased 12 times with propane-1,2-diol compared to 4.4 times with pentane-1,5-diol. However, the percutaneous absorption of hydrocortisone into the skin was 50% higher with pentane-1,5-diol compared to propane-1,2-diol. There was no significant difference, between the original mometasone furoate cream, with 2-methyl-pentane-2,4-diol, and the new cream with pentane-1,5-diol in the amount of mometasone furoate that was absorbed into the skin and through the skin. However, the cosmetic properties of the new mometasone furoate cream was superior to the original mometasone furoate cream, for examples, no bad odour, more even texture, goes better into the skin and has less greasiness. Pentane-1,5-diol can be used as a technology platform, which adds a series of desirable properties to dermatological preparations and enhances product usability. This will result in improved formulations for a series of major and commonly used dermatological drugs. When used in pharmaceutical topical preparations, pentane-1,5-diol will increase the percutaneous absorption of the active substance and it is an efficient antimicrobial agent that will act as an effective preservative in topical formulations. Pentane-1,5-diol is cosmetically attractive, has low risk for skin and eye irritation compared to other diols, low toxicity risk and no bad odour.
Calcitriol or 1.25 (OH)2-vitamin D3 is used in the treatment of psoriasis as an inhibitor of cell proliferation. We studied the action of calcitriol ex vivo on the growth of psoriatic and normal human keratinocytes, and on the expression of the EGF receptor. Third passaged normal and psoriatic keratinocytes were seeded (10(4)/cm2) in 24-well dishes in serum-free medium (MCDB supplemented with amino acids, with either 0.1 or 1.1 mM of calcium) and 10(-9) M calcitriol. When subconfluence was reached, cell counts and 125I-EGF binding studies were performed. Cell counts showed at least a 50% decrease in growth under all conditions studied (normal or psoriatic keratinocytes; 0.1 or 1.1 mM calcium) when calcitriol was added. 125I-EGF binding studies showed a decrease in total receptor numbers in the presence of calcitriol with acceleration of binding at low concentrations of 125I-EGF. Scatchard plot analysis showed only one type of high affinity receptor. Receptor sites were decreased (30% to 40% of controls) in the presence of calcitriol together with a decrease in the dissociation constant. In conclusion, at almost physiological concentrations ex vivo, calcitriol strongly decreased normal and psoriatic keratinocyte growth. This potent antiproliferative effect could in part be explained by the capacity of calcitriol to downregulate EGF receptor expression.
Patients who died of a melanoma thinner than 1.5 mm within 96 months (group 1, n = 60) were compared with those having a tumor of the same thickness who had not died in this time period (Group 2, n = 300). Both groups were investigated with respect to differences in patient sex and age and to thickness, diameter, exophytic growth, and site of the melanoma as well as the number of mitoses/mm2 of tumor area. Relatively speaking, more men than women died of a thin melanoma: in Group 1 (deceased) there were 32 men and 28 women, in Group 2 (alive) 58 men and 242 women. The better survival rate of females did not depend on the difference in the predominating melanoma locations (female face and legs; male trunk): In both sites, on the legs and on the trunk, women had a significantly higher 8-year survival rate than men with equally thick tumors. Furthermore, melanomas on the arms and legs of females had a better prognosis than those on the trunk and face. Both the patient's sex and the tumor site seem to influence the survival of melanoma patients. Only in men was the median of mitoses/mm2 of tumor area found to be higher in the first group (2.2) than in the second group (0.75). In women, no marked difference in the mitotic count was found (Group 1:1.1; Group 2:1.15).
A series of previous studies have indicated that the NC16a domain of the 180-kDa bullous pemphigoid antigen (BP180) is the most immunogenic and probably pathogenic region in both bullous pemphigoid and herpes gestationis. To confirm these previous results by a large-scale study, we examined serum from 154 bullous pemphigoid and 43 herpes gestationis patients using an immunoblot technique with the BP180 NC16a domain fusion protein, which had been prepared using cDNA obtained from a human keratinocyte cDNA library by polymerase chain reaction amplification. This fusion protein was recognized by 90% of bullous pemphigoid and 79% of herpes gestationis serum samples, but not by any other disease or normal control serum samples. These results indicate that this system is very sensitive and specific for the detection of anti-BP180 antibodies and should be useful for the diagnosis of various subepidermal bullous diseases.
Tape stripping of human stratum corneum is widely used as a method for studying the kinetics and penetration depth of drugs. Several factors can influence the quantity of stratum corneum that is removed by a piece of tape, such as the manner of tape stripping, the hydration of the skin, cohesion between cells, body site and interindividual differences. However, few data are available about the influence of furrows in the human epidermis on the tape-stripping technique. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of tape stripping in removing complete cell layers from the superficial part of the human stratum corneum. A histological section of skin that was tape-stripped 20 times clearly showed nonstripped skin in the furrows, indicating persistent incomplete tape stripping. Replicas of tape-stripped skin surface demonstrated that even after removing 40 tape strips the furrows were still present. We validated the tape-stripping method further with X-ray microanalysis in the mapping mode by scanning electron microscopy, using a TiO2-containing compound as a marker. TiO2 applied to the skin before the tape-stripping procedures was still present after the tenth tape strip, and was specifically located on the rims of the furrows. We emphasize that results from studies using the tape-stripping method have to be viewed from the perspective that cells on one tape strip of the stratum corneum may be derived from different layers, depending on the position of the tape strip in relation to the slope of the furrow, and such results should be interpreted with considerable caution.
Reliable flow cytometric analysis of normal and diseased skin requires pure epidermal single-cell suspensions. Several methods to separate the dermis from the epidermis are available. The proteolytic enzyme thermolysin separates the epidermis from the dermis at the lamina lucida and therefore permits reliable dermoepidermal separation. In the present study an optimized cell isolation procedure using thermolysin and trypsin is described, which is particularly suitable for punch biopsies. A 16-20-h (overnight) incubation of biopsies taken from normal and hyperproliferative skin with thermolysin (0.5 mg/ml) at 4 degrees C produced a selective separation of the dermis and epidermis. After a 30-min trypsin incubation (0.25 mg/ml) at 37 degrees C a cell suspension was produced which was characterized by minimal cell damage (cellular debris and clumps), a high recovery of basal cells and high quality DNA histograms. Furthermore, dermal contamination was very low. The thermolysin-trypsin separation methodology followed by triple-labelling flow cytometry provided a precise quantification of the percentage of keratin 10-positive cells, vimentin-positive cells and cells in S and G2M phases. Proliferative activity was selectively measured in the basal, the suprabasal and the non-keratinocyte compartment at various time intervals during epidermal regeneration after adhesive tape stripping. In contrast to the non-keratinocytes, the percentage of cells in S and G2M phases in the basal keratinocytes and in the suprabasal compartment increased 44-48 h after stripping. The increased proliferation following tape stripping was paralleled by an increased invasion of vimentin-positive cells into the epidermis and preceded by a decreased number of keratin 10-positive cells. Thermolysin-trypsin separation followed by three-colour flow cytometry permits a highly selective characterization of normal and hyperproliferative epidermis.