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Lausanne, Switzerland

Kypriotou M.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | Rivero D.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | Haller S.,University of Lausanne | Mariotto A.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2013

Activin A, a member of the TGFβ superfamily, is involved in physiological processes such as celldifferentiation, tissue homeostasis, wound healing, reproduction, and in pathological conditions, such as fibrosis, cancer, and asthma. Activin enhances mast cell maturation, as well as regulatory T-cell and Langerhans cell differentiation. In this study we investigated the potential role of activin inepicutaneous sensitization with ovalbumin (OVA), notably with respect to its effect on known Th2-polarization. For this purpose, transgenic mice overexpressing activin in keratinocytes and their wild-type (WT) controls were sensitized epicutaneously with OVA. Skin biopsies were analyzed with regard to histopathological features and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory and Th1/Th2 cytokines, and Ig levels were measured in the serum. Unexpectedly, activin overexpressing animals were protected from Th2-cytokine expression and induction of OVA-specific IgE levels compared to WT animals. On the other hand, transgenic mice were more susceptible to inflammation compared to WT littermates after tape-stripping and saline (vehicle) or OVA application, as shown by increased pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA levels and neutrophil accumulation at the site of the treatment. We conclude that activin protects from antigen-induced cutaneous Th2-polarization through modulation of the immune response. These findings highlight the role of activin in cutaneous sensitization, allergy, and in skin homeostasis. © 2013 Kypriotou, Rivero, Haller, Mariotto, Huber, Acha-Orbea, Werner and Hohl.


Kypriotou M.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | Huber M.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | Hohl D.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology
Experimental Dermatology | Year: 2012

The skin is essential for survival and protects our body against biological attacks, physical stress, chemical injury, water loss, ultraviolet radiation and immunological impairment. The epidermal barrier constitutes the primordial frontline of this defense established during terminal differentiation. During this complex process proliferating basal keratinocytes become suprabasally mitotically inactive and move through four epidermal layers (basal, spinous, granular and layer, stratum corneum) constantly adapting to the needs of the respective cell layer. As a result, squamous keratinocytes contain polymerized keratin intermediate filament bundles and a water-retaining matrix surrounded by the cross-linked cornified cell envelope (CE) with ceramide lipids attached on the outer surface. These cells are concomitantly insulated by intercellular lipid lamellae and hold together by corneodesmosmes. Many proteins essential for epidermal differentiation are encoded by genes clustered on chromosomal human region 1q21. These genes constitute the 'epidermal differentiation complex' (EDC), which is divided on the basis of common gene and protein structures, in three gene families: (i) CE precursors, (ii) S100A and (iii) S100 fused genes. EDC protein expression is regulated in a gene and tissue-specific manner by a pool of transcription factors. Among them, Klf4, Grhl3 and Arnt are essential, and their deletion in mice is lethal. The importance of the EDC is further reflected by human diseases: FLG mutations are the strongest risk factor for atopic dermatitis (AD) and for AD-associated asthma, and faulty CE formation caused by TG1 deficiency causes life-threatening lamellar ichthyosis. Here, we review the EDC genes and the progress in this field. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Kypriotou M.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | Boechat C.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | Huber M.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | Hohl D.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Loss-of-function mutations in human profilaggrin gene have been identified as the cause of ichthyosis vulgaris (IV), and as a major predisposition factor for atopic dermatitis (AD). Similarly, flaky tail (a/a ma ft/ma ft/J) mice were described as a model for IV, and shown to be predisposed to eczema. The aim of this study was to correlate the flaky tail mouse phenotype with human IV and AD, in order to dissect early molecular events leading to atopic dermatitis in mice and men, suffering from filaggrin deficiency. Thus, 5-days old flaky tail pups were analyzed histologically, expression of cytokines was measured in skin and signaling pathways were investigated by protein analysis. Human biopsies of IV and AD patients were analyzed histologically and by real time PCR assays. Our data show acanthosis and hyperproliferation in flaky tail epidermis, associated with increased IL1β and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) expression, and Th2-polarization. Consequently, NFκB and Stat pathways were activated, and IL6 mRNA levels were increased. Further, quantitative analysis of late epidermal differentiation markers revealed increased Small proline-rich protein 2A (Sprr2a) synthesis. Th2-polarization and Sprr2a increase may result from high TSLP expression, as shown after analysis of 5-days old K14-TSLP tg mouse skin biopsies. Our findings in the flaky tail mouse correlate with data obtained from patient biopsies of AD, but not IV. We propose that proinflammatory cytokines are responsible for acanthosis in flaky tail epidermis, and together with the Th2-derived cytokines lead to morphological changes. Accordingly, the a/a ma ft/ma ft/J mouse model can be used as an appropriate model to study early AD onset associated with profilaggrin deficiency. © 2013 Kypriotou et al.


Mallet A.,UMR 5165 U1056 | Kypriotou M.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | George K.,Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology | Leclerc E.,UMR 5165 U1056 | And 6 more authors.
British Journal of Dermatology | Year: 2013

Background Peeling skin disease (PSD), a generalized inflammatory form of peeling skin syndrome, is caused by autosomal recessive nonsense mutations in the corneodesmosin gene (CDSN). Objectives To investigate a novel mutation in CDSN. Methods A 50-year-old white woman showed widespread peeling with erythema and elevated serum IgE. DNA sequencing, immunohistochemistry, Western blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction analyses of skin biopsies were performed in order to study the genetics and to characterize the molecular profile of the disease. Results Histology showed hyperkeratosis and acanthosis of the epidermis, and inflammatory infiltrates in the dermis. DNA sequencing revealed a homozygous mutation leading to a premature termination codon in CDSN: p.Gly142*. Protein analyses showed reduced expression of a 16-kDa corneodesmosin mutant in the upper epidermal layers, whereas the full-length protein was absent. Conclusions These results are interesting regarding the genotype-phenotype correlations in diseases caused by CDSN mutations. The PSD-causing CDSN mutations identified heretofore result in total corneodesmosin loss, suggesting that PSD is due to full corneodesmosin deficiency. Here, we show for the first time that a mutant corneodesmosin can be stably expressed in some patients with PSD, and that this truncated protein is very probably nonfunctional. What's already known about this topic? Peeling skin disease (PSD) is a generalized inflammatory genodermatosis. PSD is caused by autosomal recessive nonsense mutations in the human corneodesmosin gene (CDSN), which lead to total corneodesmosin deficiency. What does this study add? This study reveals a new nonsense mutation in the human CDSN gene, which leads to a truncated form of corneodesmosin and is responsible for PSD. © 2013 British Association of Dermatologists.

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