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Exp Dermatol. 2003 Aug;12(4):466-71.

Urokinase plasminogen activator mRNA is induced by IL-1alpha and TNF-alpha in in vitro acantholysis.

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Department of Dermatology, University 'G. d'Annunzio', Chieti, Italy.


The role of urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) has been well documented in the pathogenesis of pemphigus vulgaris (PV). Activation of plasminogen into active serine protease plasmin initiates extracellular proteolysis leading to acantholysis but the mechanisms underlying this process are not clearly understood. We have previously shown that keratinocyte derived cytokines IL-1alpha and TNF-alpha are involved in PV-induced acantholysis. In the present study we sought to examine whether keratinocyte-derived IL-1alpha and TNF-alpha are correlated with uPA induction in keratinocytes during acantholysis. Normal human keratinocytes were incubated with diluted PV serum. mRNAs for IL-1alpha, TNF-alpha and uPA were examined with RT-PCR at various time points and acantholysis was measured. IL-1alpha, TNF-alpha and uPA mRNAs were all induced in keratinocytes following PV serum stimulation; IL-1alpha/TNF-alpha mRNAs' expression was earlier than the expression of uPA mRNA. To further examine the role of IL-1alpha, TNF-alpha and uPA in acantholysis, we performed antibody blocking studies. Anti-IL-1alpha, anti-TNF-alpha and anti-uPA antibodies suppressed acantholysis by 76%, 80% and 90%, respectively. In addition, anti-IL-1alpha and anti-TNF-alpha antibodies inhibited uPA mRNA induction, whereas anti-uPA antibodies did not alter IL-1alpha/TNF-alpha mRNAs' expression. Our results confirm the role of uPA in acantholysis and suggest an involvement of IL-1alpha/TNF-alpha in uPA induction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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