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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2012 Jun 15;147(1-2):91-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2012.03.010. Epub 2012 Mar 17.

Ciclosporin modulates the responses of canine progenitor epidermal keratinocytes (CPEK) to toll-like receptor agonists.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts AL9 7TA, UK.


Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 dependent pathways have an important role in the antimicrobial defense of human keratinocytes, and various factors and compounds have been shown to affect those pathways. Investigating Toll-like receptor function in canine keratinocytes and the potential for their modulation is of similar relevance in dogs due to the frequency of staphylococcal skin infections in this species, particularly in the context of canine atopic dermatitis. This pilot study hypothesized that ciclosporin would have a modulatory effect on the cytokine and TLR mRNA expression of canine progenitor epidermal keratinocytes in response to TLR2 agonists. No detectable up-regulation of TLR2, TLR4, IL-8 and TNF-α mRNA was detected following exposure to FSL-1, Pam3CSK4 and staphylococcal peptidoglycan (PGN). Ciclosporin alone did not alter the expression levels of these transcripts but in the presence of ciclosporin, TNF-α mRNA expression was upregulated in response to all three agonists and both TNF-α and IL-8 transcript abundance was increased in response to Pam3CSK4. The enhanced responsiveness of canine keratinocytes to TLR2 agonists in response to ciclosporin may imply that administration of this drug might enhance the innate immune barrier of skin.

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