It is currently thought that ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation drives photoaging of the skin primarily by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this model, ROS purportedly activates AP-1 to upregulate matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) 1, 3, and 9, which then degrade collagen and other extracellular matrix components to produce wrinkles. However, these MMPs are expressed at relatively low levels and correlate poorly with wrinkles, suggesting that another mechanism distinct from ROS and MMP1/3/9 may be more directly associated with photoaging. Here we show that MMP2, which degrades type IV collagen, is abundantly expressed in human skin, increases with age in sun-exposed skin, and correlates robustly with aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a transcription factor directly activated by UV-generated photometabolites. Through mechanistic studies with HaCaT keratinocytes, we found that AhR, SP1, and other pathways associated with DNA damage are required for the induction of both MMP2 and MMP11 (another MMP implicated in photoaging), but not MMP1/3. Lastly, we found that topical treatment with AhR antagonists vitamin B12 and folic acid ameliorated UVB-induced wrinkle formation in mice while dampening MMP2 expression in the skin. These results directly implicate DNA damage in photoaging and reveal AhR as a potential target for preventing wrinkles.
Daniel J. Kim, Akiko Iwasaki, Anna L. Chien, Sewon Kang
Allergens have been identified as potential triggers in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). AD patients are highly sensitive to cockroach allergen. The underlying mechanism, however, remains undetermined. Here, we established a cockroach allergen-induced AD-like mouse model and demonstrated that repeated exposure to cockroach allergen led to aggravated mouse skin inflammation, characterized by increased type 2 immunity, type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), and mast cells. Increased skin mast cells were also observed in AD patients. AD mice with mast cell-deficient mice (kitW-sh/W-sh) showed diminished skin inflammation, suggesting that mast cells are required in allergen-induced skin inflammation. Furthermore, dendritic cell immuno-receptor (DCIR) is up-regulated in skin mast cells of AD patients and mediates allergen binding and uptake. DCIR-/- mice or reconstituted kitW-sh/W-sh mice with DCIR-/- mast cells showed a significant reduction in AD-like inflammation. Both in vitro and in vivo analyses demonstrated that DCIR-/- mast cells had reduced IgE-mediated mast cell activation and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. Mechanistically, DCIR regulates allergen-induced IgE-mediated mast cell ROS generation and oxidation of calmodulin kinase II (ox-CaMKII). ROS-resistant CaMKII (MM-VVδ) prevents allergen-induced mast cell activation and inflammatory mediator release. Our study reveals a previously unrecognized DCIR-ROS-CaMKII axis that controls allergen-induced mast cell activation and AD-like inflammation.
Xiaoyan Luo, Jingsi Chen, Huan Yang, Xinyue Hu, Martin P. Alphonse, Yingchun Shen, Yuko Kawakami, Xiaoying Zhou, Wei Tu, Toshiaki Kawakami, Mei Wan, Nathan K. Archer, Hua Wang, Peisong Gao
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic multisystem orphan disease with a highly variable clinical course, significant mortality and a poorly understood complex pathogenesis. We identify an important role for a subpopulation of monocyte/macrophages characterized by surface expression of the scavenger receptor MARCO (MAcrophage Receptor with COllagenous structure) in chronic inflammation and fibrosis in SSc and in preclinical disease model. We show that MARCO+ monocytes and macrophages accumulate in lesional skin and lung in SSc patients and in the bleomycin-induced mouse model of SSc in topographic proximity to activated myofibroblasts. Short-term treatment of mice with a novel nanoparticle composed of a carboxylated FDA-approved biodegradable polymer, poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLG), which modulates activation and trafficking of MARCO+ inflammatory monocytes, markedly attenuated bleomycin-induced skin and lung inflammation and fibrosis. Mechanistically, in isolated cells in culture PLG nanoparticles inhibited TGF-β-dependent fibrotic responses in vitro. Thus MARCO+ monocytes are potent effector cells of skin and lung fibrosis, and can be therapeutically targeted in SSc using PLG nanoparticles.
Dan Xu, Swati Bhattacharyya, Wenxia Wang, Igal Ifergan, Ming-Yi Alice Chiang Wong, Daniele Procissi, Anjana Yeldandi, Swarna Bale, Roberta G. Marangoni, Craig Horbinski, Stephen D. Miller, John Varga
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder characterized by recurrent abscesses in the groin and flexural areas. HS is associated with a wide range of comorbidities that complicate the disease course. Although these comorbidities have been well-described, it remains unclear how these comorbidities co-associate and whether comorbidity profiles affect disease trajectory. In addition, it is unknown how comorbidity associations are modulated by race and gender. In this comprehensive analysis of 77 million patients in a large U.S. population-based cohort, we examine co-association patterns among HS comorbidities and identify clinically relevant phenotypic subtypes within HS. We demonstrate that these subtypes not only differ among races, but also influence clinical outcomes as measured by HS-related emergency department (ED) visits and cellulitis. Taken together, our findings provide key insights that elucidate the unique disease trajectories experienced by HS patients, and equip clinicians with a novel framework for risk stratification and improved targeted care in HS.
Vivian J. Hua, James M. Kilgour, Hyunje G. Cho, Shufeng Li, Kavita Y. Sarin
The migrating keratinocyte wound front is required for skin wound closure. Despite significant advances in wound healing research, we do not fully understand the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate collective keratinocyte migration. Here, we show that, in the wound front, the epidermal transcription factor Grainyhead like-3 (GRHL3) mediates decreased expression of the adherens junction protein E-cadherin; this results in relaxed adhesions between suprabasal keratinocytes, thus promoting collective cell migration and wound closure. Wound fronts from mice lacking GRHL3 in epithelial cells (Grhl3-cKO) have lower expression of Fascin-1 (FSCN1), a known negative regulator of E-cadherin. Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) on wounded keratinocytes shows decreased wound-induced chromatin accessibility near the Fscn1 gene in Grhl3-cKO mice, a region enriched for GRHL3 motifs. These data reveal a wound-induced GRHL3/FSCN1/E-cadherin pathway that regulates keratinocyte-keratinocyte adhesion during wound-front migration; this pathway is activated in acute human wounds and is altered in diabetic wounds in mice, suggesting translational relevance.
Ghaidaa Kashgari, Sanan Venkatesh, Samuel Refuerzo, Brandon Pham, Anita Bayat, Rachel Herndon Klein, Raul Ramos, Albert Paul Ta, Maksim V. Plikus, Ping H. Wang, Bogi Andersen
Altered epidermal differentiation along with increased keratinocyte proliferation, is a characteristic feature of psoriasis and pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP). However, despite this large degree of overlapping clinical and histologic features, the molecular signatures these skin disorders share are unknown. Using global transcriptomic profiling we demonstrate that plaque psoriasis and PRP skin lesions have high overlap, with all differentially expressed genes in PRP relative to normal skin having complete overlap with those in psoriasis. The major common pathway shared between psoriasis and PRP involves the phospholipases: PLA2G2F, PLA2G4D, and PLA2G4E, which were found to be primarily expressed in the epidermis. Gene silencing targeting each of the three PLA2s led to reduction of immune responses and epidermal thickness both in vitro and in vivo in a mouse model of psoriasis, establishing their pro-inflammatory roles. Lipidomic analyses demonstrated that PLA2s affect mobilization of a phospholipid-eicosanoid pool, which is altered in psoriatic lesions and functions to promote immune responses in keratinocytes. Taken together, our results highlight the important role of PLA2 lipases as regulators of epidermal barrier homeostasis and inflammation, identify PLA2s as a shared pathogenic mechanism between PRP and psoriasis, and as potential novel therapeutic targets for both diseases.
Shuai Shao, Jiaoling Chen, William R. Swindell, Lam C. Tsoi, Xianying Xing, Feiyang Ma, Ranjitha Uppala, Mrinal K. Sarkar, Olesya Plazyo, Allison C. Billi, Rachael Wasikowski, Kathleen M. Smith, Prisca Honore, Victoria E. Scott, Emanual Maverakis, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Gang Wang, Nicole L. Ward, Paul W. Harms, Johann E. Gudjonsson
The molecular mechanisms that underlie the detrimental effects of particulate matter (PM) on skin barrier function are poorly understood. In this study, the effects of PM2.5 on filaggrin (FLG) and skin barrier function were investigated in vitro and in vivo. The levels of FLG degradation products including pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, urocanic acid (UCA), and cis/trans UCA were significantly decreased in skin tape stripping samples of study subjects when they moved from Denver, an area with low PM2.5, to Seoul, an area with high PM2.5 count. Experimentally, PM2.5 collected in Seoul inhibited FLG, loricrin, keratin-1, desmocollin-1, and corneodesmosin, but did not modulate involucrin or claudin-1 in keratinocyte cultures. Moreover, FLG protein expression was inhibited in human skin equivalents and murine skin treated with PM2.5. We demonstrate that this process was mediated by PM2.5-induced TNF-alpha and was aryl hydrocarbon receptor-dependent. PM2.5 exposure compromised skin barrier function, resulting in increased transepidermal water loss and enhanced the penetration of FITC-dextran in organotypic and mouse skin. PM2.5-induced TNF-alpha causes FLG deficiency in the skin and subsequently induces skin barrier dysfunction. Compromised skin barrier due to PM2.5 exposure may contribute to the development and the exacerbation of allergic diseases such as AD.
Byung Eui Kim, Jihyun Kim, Elena Goleva, Evgeny Berdyshev, Jinyoung Lee, Kathryn A. Vang, Un Ha Lee, SongYi Han, Susan Leung, Clifton F. Hall, Na-Rae Kim, Irina Bronova, Eu Jin Lee, Hye-Ran Yang, Donald Y.M. Leung, Kangmo Ahn
BACKGROUND Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is an incurable disease that causes severe mucocutaneous fragility due to mutations in COL7A1 (encoding type VII collagen [C7]). In this phase I/IIa trial, we evaluated the safety and possible clinical efficacy of intravenous infusion of allogeneic human umbilical cord blood–derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) in patients with RDEB.METHODS Four adult and two pediatric patients with RDEB were treated with 3 intravenous injections of hUCB-MSCs (1 × 106 to 3 × 106 cells/kg) every 2 weeks and followed up for 8–24 months after treatment. The primary endpoint was safety. Secondary endpoints related to efficacy included clinical parameters, such as disease severity score, wound assessment, itch and pain score, and quality of life. C7 expression levels and inflammatory infiltrates in the skin, as well as serum levels of inflammatory markers and neuropeptides, were also assessed.RESULTS Intravenous hUCB-MSC infusions were well tolerated, without serious adverse events. Improvements in the Birmingham Epidermolysis Bullosa Severity Score, body surface area involvement, blister counts, pain, pruritus, and quality of life were observed with maximal effects at 56–112 days after treatment. hUCB-MSC administration induced M2 macrophage polarization and reduced mast cell infiltration in RDEB skin. Serum levels of substance P were decreased after therapy. Increased C7 expression was observed at the dermoepidermal junction in 1 of 6 patients at day 56.CONCLUSION To the best of our knowledge, this is the first clinical trial of systemic administration of allogeneic hUCB-MSCs in patients with RDEB, demonstrating safety and transient clinical benefits.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04520022.FUNDING This work was supported by Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Kangstem Biotech Co. Ltd.
Sang Eun Lee, Seung-Ju Lee, Song-Ee Kim, Kinam Kim, Boyoung Cho, Kyounghwan Roh, Soo-Chan Kim
Mottled skin pigmentation and solar lentigines from chronic photodamage with aging involves complex interactions between keratinocytes and melanocytes. However, the precise signaling mechanisms that could serve as therapeutic targets are unclear. Herein, we report that expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), which regulates reduction–oxidation reactions, is altered in solar lentigines and photodamaged skin. Moreover, mottled skin pigmentation in humans could be treated with topical application of the NRF2 inducer sulforaphane (SF). Similarly, ultraviolet (UV) light-induced pigmentation of wildtype mouse ear skin could be treated or prevented with SF treatment. Conversely, SF treatment was unable to reduce UV-induced ear skin pigmentation in mice deficient in NRF2 or in mice with keratinocyte-specific conditional deletion of IL-6Rα. Taken together, NRF2 and IL-6Rα signaling are involved in the pathogenesis of UV-induced skin pigmentation and specific enhancement of NRF2-signaling could represent a potential therapeutic target.
Michelle L. Kerns, Robert J. Miller, Momina Mazhar, Angel S. Byrd, Nathan K. Archer, Bret L. Pinsker, Lance S. Lew, Carly A. Dillen, Ruizhi Wang, Lloyd S. Miller, Anna L. Chien, Sewon Kang
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin disorder of unknown etiology that manifests as recurrent, painful lesions. Cutaneous dysbiosis and unresolved inflammation are hallmarks of active HS, but their origin and interplay remain unclear. Our metabolomic profiling of HS skin revealed an abnormal induction of the kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan catabolism in dermal fibroblasts correlating with the release of KP-inducing cytokines by inflammatory cell infiltrates. Notably, over-activation of the KP in lesional skin was associated with local and systemic depletion in tryptophan. Yet the skin microbiota normally degrades host tryptophan into indoles regulating tissue inflammation via engagement of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR). In HS skin lesions, we detected contextual defects in AHR activation coinciding with impaired production of bacteria-derived AHR agonists and decreased incidence of AHR ligand-producing bacteria in the resident flora. Dysregulation of tryptophan catabolism at the skin-microbiota interface thus provides a mechanism linking the immunological and microbiological features of HS lesions. In addition to revealing metabolic alterations in HS patients, our study suggests that correcting AHR signaling would help restore immune homeostasis in HS skin.
Laure Guenin-Macé, Jean-David Morel, Jean-Marc Doisne, Angèle Schiavo, Lysiane Boulet, Véronique Mayau, Pedro Goncalves, Sabine Duchatelet, Alain Hovnanian, Vincent Bondet, Darragh Duffy, Marie-Noëlle Ungeheuer, Maïa Delage, Aude Nassif, James P. Di Santo, Caroline Demangel
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