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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 1;103(31):11736-41. Epub 2006 Jul 31.

Topical vitamin D3 and low-calcemic analogs induce thymic stromal lymphopoietin in mouse keratinocytes and trigger an atopic dermatitis.

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Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire and Institut Clinique de la Souris, BP10142, 67404 Illkirch Cedex, France.


We have demonstrated that cytokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), whose expression is rapidly induced upon keratinocyte-selective ablation of retinoid X receptors (RXRs) -alpha and -beta in the mouse (RXRalphabeta(ep-/-) mice), plays a key role in initiating a skin and systemic atopic dermatitis-like phenotype. We show here that topical application of the physiologically active ligand [1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(3); calcitriol] of the vitamin D receptor, or of its low-calcemic analog MC903 (calcipotriol; Dovonex), induces TSLP expression in epidermal keratinocytes, which results in an atopic dermatitis-like syndrome mimicking that seen in RXRalphabeta(ep-/-) mutants and transgenic mice overexpressing TSLP in keratinocytes. Furthermore, topical application of retinoic acid receptor RARgamma-selective agonist BMS961 also induces TSLP expression either on its own or synergistically with 1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(3). Our data demonstrate that RXR/vitamin D receptor and RXR/retinoic acid receptor-gamma heterodimers and their ligands cell-autonomously control the expression of TSLP in epidermal keratinocytes of the mouse. We propose molecular mechanisms through which vitamin D3 and retinoic acid signalings could be involved in the pathogenesis of atopic diseases.

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