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Br J Dermatol. 1998 Jan;138(1):29-36.

Suprabasal expression of epidermal alpha 2 beta 1 and alpha 3 beta 1 integrins in skin treated with topical retinoic acid.

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1
Department of Periodontology, Medical Biochemistry and Pathology, University of Turku, Finland.

Abstract

In normal adult human skin, expression of epidermal integrins is confined to keratinocytes in the basal layer. However, suprabasal expression of alpha 2, alpha 3 and beta 1 integrin subunits is noted in hyperproliferative epidermis in wound repair and psoriasis. In this study, we examined the effect of topical all-trans-retinoic acid (RA), known to induce epidermal hyperplasia, on expression of integrins in human epidermis. Immunostaining of vehicle-treated skin revealed expression of alpha 2, alpha 3 and beta 1, as well as alpha 6 and beta 4 integrin subunits entirely on basal keratinocytes. Topical application of RA (0.1%) for 2 weeks resulted in marked suprabasal expression of alpha 2, alpha 3 and beta 1 integrin subunits, whereas alpha 6 and beta 4 staining remained on basal keratinocytes. Staining for putative ligands of alpha 2 beta 1 and alpha 3 beta 1 integrins, i.e. type IV collagen, laminin-5 and fibronectin, was not detected in the epidermal layer in RA- or vehicle-treated skin. Treatment of HaCaT keratinocytes in culture with RA (1 mumol/L) enhanced alpha 2 and beta 1 mRNA abundance. Furthermore, RA slightly up-regulated the expression of alpha 2, alpha 3 and beta 1 integrin subunits on primary epidermal keratinocytes and HaCaT cells in culture with no effect on cell proliferation. These results provide evidence that RA-elicited epidermal hyperplasia is associated with aberrant suprabasal expression of alpha 2 beta 1 and alpha 3 beta 1 integrins, and that this also involves direct stimulation of keratinocyte integrin expression by RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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