2,441 research outputs found

    Neuroendocrine Controls of Keratin Expression in Human Skin

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    The human skin serves as a source for a large number of neurohormones and neuropeptides, which affect skin biology on multiple different levels. Intriguingly, this includes the control of keratin expression by neurohormones such as thyrotropin-releasing hormone, thyrotropin, opioids, prolactin, and cannabinoid receptor 1-ligands. While this neuroendocrine regulation of human keratin biology in situ is likely to be involved in the maintenance of skin and hair follicle homeostasis and may participate in skin pathology, this regulation remains to be appreciated and explored by mainstream keratin research. Here, we review recent progress in this frontier of neuroendocrine and keratin skin research, define the many open questions in the field, and elaborate how neurohormones may be harnessed to treat selected genodermatoses and other skin disorders accompanied by abnormal keratin expression

    Thyroxine differentially modulates the peripheral clock: lessons from the human hair follicle

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    The human hair follicle (HF) exhibits peripheral clock activity, with knock-down of clock genes (BMAL1 and PER1) prolonging active hair growth (anagen) and increasing pigmentation. Similarly, thyroid hormones prolong anagen and stimulate pigmentation in cultured human HFs. In addition they are recognized as key regulators of the central clock that controls circadian rhythmicity. Therefore, we asked whether thyroxine (T4) also influences peripheral clock activity in the human HF. Over 24 hours we found a significant reduction in protein levels of BMAL1 and PER1, with their transcript levels also decreasing significantly. Furthermore, while all clock genes maintained their rhythmicity in both the control and T4 treated HFs, there was a significant reduction in the amplitude of BMAL1 and PER1 in T4 (100 nM) treated HFs. Accompanying this, cell-cycle progression marker Cyclin D1 was also assessed appearing to show an induced circadian rhythmicity by T4 however, this was not significant. Contrary to short term cultures, after 6 days, transcript and/or protein levels of all core clock genes (BMAL1, PER1, clock, CRY1, CRY2) were up-regulated in T4 treated HFs. BMAL1 and PER1 mRNA was also up-regulated in the HF bulge, the location of HF epithelial stem cells. Together this provides the first direct evidence that T4 modulates the expression of the peripheral molecular clock. Thus, patients with thyroid dysfunction may also show a disordered peripheral clock, which raises the possibility that short term, pulsatile treatment with T4 might permit one to modulate circadian activity in peripheral tissues as a target to treat clock-related disease

    The frog skin-derived antimicrobial peptide esculentin-1a(1-21)nh2 promotes the migration of human hacat keratinocytes in an egf receptor-dependent manner: a novel promoter of human skin wound healing?

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    One of the many functions of skin is to protect the organism against a wide range of pathogens. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced by the skin epithelium provide an effective chemical shield against microbial pathogens. However, whereas antibacterial/antifungal activities of AMPs have been extensively characterized, much less is known regarding their wound healing-modulatory properties. By using an in vitro re-epithelialisation assay employing special cell-culture inserts, we detected that a derivative of the frog-skin AMP esculentin-1a, named esculentin-1a(1-21)NH2, significantly stimulates migration of immortalized human keratinocytes (HaCaT cells) over a wide range of peptide concentrations (0.025-4 μM), and this notably more efficiently than human cathelicidin (LL-37). This activity is preserved in primary human epidermal keratinocytes. By using appropriate inhibitors and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay we found that the peptide-induced cell migration involves activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor and STAT3 protein. These results suggest that esculentin-1a(1-21)NH2 now deserves to be tested in standard wound healing assays as a novel candidate promoter of skin re-epithelialisation. The established ability of esculentin-1a(1-21)NH2 to kill microbes without harming mammalian cells, namely its high anti-Pseudomonal activity, makes this AMP a particularly attractive candidate wound healing promoter, especially in the management of chronic, often Pseudomonas-infected, skin ulcers

    Topical Estrogen Accelerates Hair Regrowth in Mice After Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia by Favoring the Dystrophic Catagen Response Pathway to Damage

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    Estrogen receptor ligands are important modulators of skin physiology and are involved in the control of normal hair follicle cycling. Here, we have studied the effects of topically applied 17-β-estradiol on pathologic hair follicle cycling as seen during chemotherapy-induced alopecia, one of the major unresolved problems of clinical oncology. For this study we employed a well-established murine model that mimics chemotherapy-induced alopecia in humans. For precisely quantifying the area of hair loss and hair regrowth in this model in vivo, we developed a simple planimetric assay (dotmatrix planimetry). We show that topical 17-β-estradiol significantly alters the cycling response of murine follicles to cyclophosphamide, whereas the estrogen antagonist ICI 182.780 exerted no such effects. Initially, topical 17-β-estradiol enhanced chemotherapy-induced alopecia significantly by forcing the follicles into the dystrophic catagen response pathway to hair follicle damage, whereas follicles treated by ICI 182.780 or vehicle shifted into the dystrophic anagen response pathway. Consequently, the regrowth of normally pigmented hair shafts after chemotherapy-induced alopecia was significantly accelerated in the 17-β-estradiol treated group. Our data encourage one to explore topical estrogens as a potential stimulant for hair re-growth after chemotherapy-induced alopecia

    The gut-skin axis in health and disease: A paradigm with therapeutic implications.

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    As crucial interface organs gut and skin have much in common. Therefore it is unsurprising that several gut pathologies have skin co-morbidities. Nevertheless, the reason for this remains ill explored, and neither mainstream gastroenterology nor dermatology research have systematically investigated the ‘gut-skin axis'. Here, in reviewing the field, we propose several mechanistic levels on which gut and skin may interact under physiological and pathological circumstances. We focus on the gut microbiota, with its huge metabolic capacity, and the role of dietary components as potential principle actors along the gut-skin axis. We suggest that metabolites from either the diet or the microbiota are skin accessible. After defining open key questions around the nature of these metabolites, how they are sensed, and which cutaneous changes they can induce, we propose that understanding of these pathways will lead to novel therapeutic strategies based on targeting one organ to improve the health of the other

    The Fate of Hair Follicle Melanocytes During the Hair Growth Cycle

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    The fate of the follicular pigmentary unit during the hair growth cycle has long been one of the great enigmas of both hair follicle and pigment cell biology. Although melanocytes are distributed in several different compartments of the anagen hair follicle, melanogenically active cells are located only in the hair bulb, where they are directly involved in hair shaft pigmentation. These pigment cells are readily detectable only when they become melanogenically active during anagen III of the hair growth cycle. Thus, their status during hair follicle regression (catagen), when melanogenesis is switched off, until they re-appear again as pigment-producing cells in the anagen III hair follicle, has remained poorly defined. Historically, it has been proposed that hair bulb melanocytes adopt a self-perpetuating, catagen-resistant strategy of de-differentiation during hair follicle regression and re-differentiation upon entry into a new anagen phase; however, this explanation remains problematic in the absence of evidence for de-differentiation/re-differentiation plasticity in most nonmalignant cell systems
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