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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 16;110(16):6476-81. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1219462110. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Inducible deletion of the Blimp-1 gene in adult epidermis causes granulocyte-dominated chronic skin inflammation in mice.

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Graduate Institute of Life Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 114, Taiwan.


B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp-1) is a transcriptional repressor important for the differentiation and function of several types of immune cells. Because skin serves as a physical barrier and acts as an immune sentinel, we investigated whether Blimp-1 is involved in epidermal immune function. We show that Blimp-1 expression is reduced in skin lesions of some human eczema samples and in stimulated primary keratinocytes. Epidermal-specific deletion of PR domain containing 1, with ZNF domain (Prdm1), the gene encoding Blimp-1, in adult mice caused spontaneously inflamed skin characterized by massive dermal infiltration of neutrophils/macrophages and development of chronic inflammation associated with higher levels of cytokines/chemokines, including granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and enhanced myelopoiesis in bone marrow. Deletion of Prdm1 in the epidermis of adult mice also led to stronger inflammatory reactions in a tape-stripping test and in a disease model of contact dermatitis. The elevated G-CSF produced by keratinocytes after deletion of Prdm1 in vitro was mediated by the transcriptional activation of FBJ osteosarcoma oncogene (Fos) and fos-like antigen 1 (Fosl1). Systemic increases in G-CSF contributed to the inflammatory responses, because deletion of the G-CSF gene [colony stimulating factor 3, (Csf3)] prevented neutrophilia and partially ameliorated the inflamed skin in Prdm1-deficient mice. Our findings indicate a previously unreported function for Blimp-1 in restraining steady-state epidermal barrier immunity.

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