ResearchPad - skin-physiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Microbeam X-ray diffraction study of lipid structure in stratum corneum of human skin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7631 Human skin, not previously frozen, was studied by small-angle X-ray diffraction. The samples were folded so that a 6μm X-ray beam passed through the top layer of skin, stratum corneum. Diffraction patterns recorded with this method consisted of peaks at about q = 0.5, 1.0 and 1.4 nm-1 in the direction perpendicular to the skin surface more clearly than in previous studies. These peaks are interpreted to arise from lipids between corneocytes. A simple unit of a linear electron density profile with three minima was used to account for the observed intensity profiles. Combinations of calculated diffraction from models with one, two and three units accounted for the major part of the observed diffraction pattern, showing the diversity in the structure of the intercellular lipids.

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<![CDATA[Long-Term Bezafibrate Treatment Improves Skin and Spleen Phenotypes of the mtDNA Mutator Mouse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e1ab0ee8fa60b69818

Pharmacological agents, such as bezafibrate, that activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and PPAR γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) pathways have been shown to improve mitochondrial function and energy metabolism. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutator mouse is a mouse model of aging that harbors a proofreading-deficient mtDNA polymerase γ. These mice develop many features of premature aging including hair loss, anemia, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and decreased lifespan. They also have increased mtDNA mutations and marked mitochondrial dysfunction. We found that mutator mice treated with bezafibrate for 8-months had delayed hair loss and improved skin and spleen aging-like phenotypes. Although we observed an increase in markers of fatty acid oxidation in these tissues, we did not detect a generalized increase in mitochondrial markers. On the other hand, there were no improvements in muscle function or lifespan of the mutator mouse, which we attributed to the rodent-specific hepatomegaly associated with fibrate treatment. These results showed that despite its secondary effects in rodent’s liver, bezafibrate was able to improve some of the aging phenotypes in the mutator mouse. Because the associated hepatomegaly is not observed in primates, long-term bezafibrate treatment in humans could have beneficial effects on tissues undergoing chronic bioenergetic-related degeneration.

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<![CDATA[Shelf-Life Evaluation of Bilayered Human Skin Equivalent, MyDerm™]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db03ab0ee8fa60bc760e

Skin plays an important role in defense against infection and other harmful biological agents. Due to its fragile structure, skin can be easily damaged by heat, chemicals, traumatic injuries and diseases. An autologous bilayered human skin equivalent, MyDerm™, was engineered to provide a living skin substitute to treat critical skin loss. However, one of the disadvantages of living skin substitute is its short shelf-life, hence limiting its distribution worldwide. The aim of this study was to evaluate the shelf-life of MyDerm™ through assessment of cell morphology, cell viability, population doubling time and functional gene expression levels before transplantation. Skin samples were digested with 0.6% Collagenase Type I followed by epithelial cells dissociation with TrypLE Select. Dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes were culture-expanded to obtain sufficient cells for MyDerm™ construction. MyDerm™ was constructed with plasma-fibrin as temporary biomaterial and evaluated at 0, 24, 48 and 72 hours after storage at 4°C for its shelf-life determination. The morphology of skin cells derived from MyDerm™ remained unchanged across storage times. Cells harvested from MyDerm™ after storage appeared in good viability (90.5%±2.7% to 94.9%±1.6%) and had short population doubling time (58.4±8.7 to 76.9±19 hours). The modest drop in cell viability and increased in population doubling time at longer storage duration did not demonstrate a significant difference. Gene expression for CK10, CK14 and COL III were also comparable between different storage times. In conclusion, MyDerm™ can be stored in basal medium at 4°C for at least 72 hours before transplantation without compromising its functionality.

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<![CDATA[Thermal Detection Thresholds of Aδ- and C-Fibre Afferents Activated by Brief CO2 Laser Pulses Applied onto the Human Hairy Skin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da83ab0ee8fa60b9b435

Brief high-power laser pulses applied onto the hairy skin of the distal end of a limb generate a double sensation related to the activation of Aδ- and C-fibres, referred to as first and second pain. However, neurophysiological and behavioural responses related to the activation of C-fibres can be studied reliably only if the concomitant activation of Aδ-fibres is avoided. Here, using a novel CO2 laser stimulator able to deliver constant-temperature heat pulses through a feedback regulation of laser power by an online measurement of skin temperature at target site, combined with an adaptive staircase algorithm using reaction-time to distinguish between responses triggered by Aδ- and C-fibre input, we show that it is possible to estimate robustly and independently the thermal detection thresholds of Aδ-fibres (46.9±1.7°C) and C-fibres (39.8±1.7°C). Furthermore, we show that both thresholds are dependent on the skin temperature preceding and/or surrounding the test stimulus, indicating that the Aδ- and C-fibre afferents triggering the behavioural responses to brief laser pulses behave, at least partially, as detectors of a change in skin temperature rather than as pure level detectors. Most importantly, our results show that the difference in threshold between Aδ- and C-fibre afferents activated by brief laser pulses can be exploited to activate C-fibres selectively and reliably, provided that the rise in skin temperature generated by the laser stimulator is well-controlled. Our approach could constitute a tool to explore, in humans, the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in processing C- and Aδ-fibre input, respectively.

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<![CDATA[The Mobilization and Recruitment of C-Kit+ Cells Contribute to Wound Healing after Surgery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadeab0ee8fa60bbb0f2

Delayed wound healing is a serious clinical problem in patients after surgery. A recent study has demonstrated that bone marrow-derived c-kit-positive (c-kit+) cells play important roles in repairing and regenerating various tissues and organs. To examine the hypothesis that surgical injury induces the mobilization and recruitment of c-kit+ cells to accelerate wound healing. Mice were subjected to a left pneumonectomy. The mobilization of c-kit+ cells was monitored after surgery. Using green fluorescent protein (GFP+) bone marrow-transplanted chimera mice, we investigated further whether the mobilized c-kit+ cells were recruited to effect wound healing in a skin puncture model. The group with left pneumonectomies increased the c-kit+ and CD34+ stem cells in peripheral blood 24 h after surgery. At 3 days after surgery, the skin wound size was observed to be significantly smaller, and the number of bone marrow-derived GFP+ cells and GFP+/c-kit+ cells in the wound tissue was significantly greater in mice that had received pneumonectomies, as compared with those that had received a sham operation. Furthermore, some of these GFP+ cells were positively expressed specific markers of macrophages (F4/80), endothelial cells (CD31), and myofibroblasts (αSMA). The administration of AMD3100, an antagonist of a stromal-cell derived factor (SDF)-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway, reduced the number of GFP+ cells in wound tissue and completely negated the accelerated wound healing. Surgical injury induces the mobilization and recruitment of c-kit+ cells to contribute to wound healing. Regulating c-kit+ cells may provide a new approach that accelerates wound healing after surgery.

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<![CDATA[Delayed Re-Epithelialization in Periostin-Deficient Mice during Cutaneous Wound Healing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5fab0ee8fa60b90b22

Background

Matricellular proteins, including periostin, are important for tissue regeneration.

Methods and Findings

Presently we investigated the function of periostin in cutaneous wound healing by using periostin-deficient (−/−) mice. Periostin mRNA was expressed in both the epidermis and hair follicles, and periostin protein was located at the basement membrane in the hair follicles together with fibronectin and laminin γ2. Periostin was associated with laminin γ2, and this association enhanced the proteolytic cleavage of the laminin γ2 long form to produce its short form. To address the role of periostin in wound healing, we employed a wound healing model using WT and periostin−/− mice and the scratch wound assay in vitro. We found that the wound closure was delayed in the periostin−/− mice coupled with a delay in re-epithelialization and with reduced proliferation of keratinocytes. Furthermore, keratinocyte proliferation was enhanced in periostin-overexpressing HaCaT cells along with up-regulation of phosphorylated NF-κB.

Conclusion

These results indicate that periostin was essential for keratinocyte proliferation for re-epithelialization during cutaneous wound healing.

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<![CDATA[Multiphoton Multispectral Fluorescence Lifetime Tomography for the Evaluation of Basal Cell Carcinomas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db02ab0ee8fa60bc71ee

We present the first detailed study using multispectral multiphoton fluorescence lifetime imaging to differentiate basal cell carcinoma cells (BCCs) from normal keratinocytes. Images were acquired from 19 freshly excised BCCs and 27 samples of normal skin (in & ex vivo). Features from fluorescence lifetime images were used to discriminate BCCs with a sensitivity/specificity of 79%/93% respectively. A mosaic of BCC fluorescence lifetime images covering >1 mm2 is also presented, demonstrating the potential for tumour margin delineation.

Using 10,462 manually segmented cells from the image data, we quantify the cellular morphology and spectroscopic differences between BCCs and normal skin for the first time. Statistically significant increases were found in the fluorescence lifetimes of cells from BCCs in all spectral channels, ranging from 19.9% (425–515 nm spectral emission) to 39.8% (620–655 nm emission). A discriminant analysis based diagnostic algorithm allowed the fraction of cells classified as malignant to be calculated for each patient. This yielded a receiver operator characteristic area under the curve for the detection of BCC of 0.83.

We have used both morphological and spectroscopic parameters to discriminate BCC from normal skin, and provide a comprehensive base for how this technique could be used for BCC assessment in clinical practice.

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<![CDATA[Keratinocytes Propagated in Serum-Free, Feeder-Free Culture Conditions Fail to Form Stratified Epidermis in a Reconstituted Skin Model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1dab0ee8fa60bce9ee

Primary human epidermal stem cells isolated from skin tissues and subsequently expanded in tissue culture are used for human therapeutic use to reconstitute skin on patients and to generate artificial skin in culture for academic and commercial research. Classically, epidermal cells, known as keratinocytes, required fibroblast feeder support and serum-containing media for serial propagation. In alignment with global efforts to remove potential animal contaminants, many serum-free, feeder-free culture methods have been developed that support derivation and growth of these cells in 2-dimensional culture. Here we show that keratinocytes grown continually in serum-free and feeder-free conditions were unable to form into a stratified, mature epidermis in a skin equivalent model. This is not due to loss of cell potential as keratinocytes propagated in serum-free, feeder-free conditions retain their ability to form stratified epidermis when re-introduced to classic serum-containing media. Extracellular calcium supplementation failed to improve epidermis development. In contrast, the addition of serum to commercial, growth media developed for serum-free expansion of keratinocytes facilitated 3-dimensional stratification in our skin equivalent model. Moreover, the addition of heat-inactivated serum improved the epidermis structure and thickness, suggesting that serum contains factors that both aid and inhibit stratification.

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<![CDATA[Melanosomal Dynamics Assessed with a Live-Cell Fluorescent Melanosomal Marker]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabfab0ee8fa60bb0399

Melanocytes present in skin and other organs synthesize and store melanin pigment within membrane-delimited organelles called melanosomes. Exposure of human skin to ultraviolet radiation (UV) stimulates melanin production in melanosomes, followed by transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes to neighboring keratinocytes. Melanosomal function is critical for protecting skin against UV radiation, but the mechanisms underlying melanosomal movement and transfer are not well understood. Here we report a novel fluorescent melanosomal marker, which we used to measure real-time melanosomal dynamics in live human epidermal melanocytes (HEMs) and transfer in melanocyte-keratinocyte co-cultures. A fluorescent fusion protein of Ocular Albinism 1 (OA1) localized to melanosomes in both B16-F1 cells and HEMs, and its expression did not significantly alter melanosomal distribution. Live-cell tracking of OA1-GFP-tagged melanosomes revealed a bimodal kinetic profile, with melanosomes exhibiting combinations of slow and fast movement. We also found that exposure to UV radiation increased the fraction of melanosomes exhibiting fast versus slow movement. In addition, using OA1-GFP in live co-cultures, we monitored melanosomal transfer using time-lapse microscopy. These results highlight OA1-GFP as a specific and effective melanosomal marker for live-cell studies, reveal new aspects of melanosomal dynamics and transfer, and are relevant to understanding the skin’s physiological response to UV radiation.

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<![CDATA[PECAM1+/Sca1+/CD38+ Vascular Cells Transform into Myofibroblast-Like Cells in Skin Wound Repair]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4dab0ee8fa60bdaef8

Skin injury induces the formation of new blood vessels by activating the vasculature in order to restore tissue homeostasis. Vascular cells may also differentiate into matrix-secreting contractile myofibroblasts to promote wound closure. Here, we characterize a PECAM1+/Sca1+ vascular cell population in mouse skin, which is highly enriched in wounds at the peak of neoangiogenesis and myofibroblast formation. These cells express endothelial and perivascular markers and present the receptor CD38 on their surface. PECAM1+/Sca1+/CD38+ cells proliferate upon wounding and could give rise to α-SMA+ myofibroblast-like cells. CD38 stimulation in immunodeficient mice reduced the wound size at the peak of neoangiogenesis and myofibroblast formation. In humans a corresponding cell population was identified, which was enriched in sprouting vessels of basal cell carcinoma biopsies. The results indicate that PECAM1+/Sca1+/CD38+ vascular cells could proliferate and differentiate into myofibroblast-like cells in wound repair. Moreover, CD38 signaling modulates PECAM1+/Sca1+/CD38+ cell activation in the healing process implying CD38 as a target for anti-angiogenic therapies in human basal cell carcinoma.

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<![CDATA[Epidermal Transglutaminase (TGase 3) Is Required for Proper Hair Development, but Not the Formation of the Epidermal Barrier]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f8ab0ee8fa60b70d0b

Transglutaminases (TGase), a family of cross-linking enzymes present in most cell types, are important in events as diverse as cell-signaling and matrix stabilization. Transglutaminase 1 is crucial in developing the epidermal barrier, however the skin also contains other family members, in particular TGase 3. This isoform is highly expressed in the cornified layer, where it is believed to stabilize the epidermis and its reduction is implicated in psoriasis. To understand the importance of TGase 3 in vivo we have generated and analyzed mice lacking this protein. Surprisingly, these animals display no obvious defect in skin development, no overt changes in barrier function or ability to heal wounds. In contrast, hair lacking TGase 3 is thinner, has major alterations in the cuticle cells and hair protein cross-linking is markedly decreased. Apparently, while TGase 3 is of unique functional importance in hair, in the epidermis loss of TGase 3 can be compensated for by other family members.

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<![CDATA[Flagellin Delivery by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Rhamnolipids Induces the Antimicrobial Protein Psoriasin in Human Skin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f2ab0ee8fa60b6ec75

The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause severe infections in patients suffering from disruption or disorder of the skin barrier as in burns, chronic wounds, and after surgery. On healthy skin P. aeruginosa causes rarely infections. To gain insight into the interaction of the ubiquitous bacterium P. aeruginosa and healthy human skin, the induction of the antimicrobial protein psoriasin by P. aeruginosa grown on an ex vivo skin model was analyzed. We show that presence of the P. aeruginosa derived biosurfactant rhamnolipid was indispensable for flagellin-induced psoriasin expression in human skin, contrary to in vitro conditions. The importance of the bacterial virulence factor flagellin as the major inducing factor of psoriasin expression in skin was demonstrated by use of a flagellin-deficient mutant. Rhamnolipid mediated shuttle across the outer skin barrier was not restricted to flagellin since rhamnolipids enable psoriasin expression by the cytokines IL-17 and IL-22 after topical application on human skin. Rhamnolipid production was detected for several clinical strains and the formation of vesicles was observed under skin physiological conditions. In conclusion we demonstrate herein that rhamnolipids enable the induction of the antimicrobial protein psoriasin by flagellin in human skin without direct contact of bacteria and responding cells. Hereby, human skin might control the microflora to prevent colonization of unwanted microbes in the earliest steps before potential pathogens can develop strategies to subvert the immune response.

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<![CDATA[Topical Insulin Accelerates Wound Healing in Diabetes by Enhancing the AKT and ERK Pathways: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb4b4e

Background

Wound healing is impaired in diabetes mellitus, but the mechanisms involved in this process are virtually unknown. Proteins belonging to the insulin signaling pathway respond to insulin in the skin of rats.

Objective

The purpose of this study was to investigate the regulation of the insulin signaling pathway in wound healing and skin repair of normal and diabetic rats, and, in parallel, the effect of a topical insulin cream on wound healing and on the activation of this pathway.

Research Design and Methods

We investigated insulin signaling by immunoblotting during wound healing of control and diabetic animals with or without topical insulin. Diabetic patients with ulcers were randomized to receive topical insulin or placebo in a prospective, double-blind and placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial (NCT 01295177) of wound healing.

Results and Conclusions

Expression of IR, IRS-1, IRS-2, SHC, ERK, and AKT are increased in the tissue of healing wounds compared to intact skin, suggesting that the insulin signaling pathway may have an important role in this process. These pathways were attenuated in the wounded skin of diabetic rats, in parallel with an increase in the time of complete wound healing. Upon topical application of insulin cream, the wound healing time of diabetic animals was normalized, followed by a reversal of defective insulin signal transduction. In addition, the treatment also increased expression of other proteins, such as eNOS (also in bone marrow), VEGF, and SDF-1α in wounded skin. In diabetic patients, topical insulin cream markedly improved wound healing, representing an attractive and cost-free method for treating this devastating complication of diabetes.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01295177

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<![CDATA[Nanohybrids of Silver Particles Immobilized on Silicate Platelet for Infected Wound Healing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2cab0ee8fa60b82d45

Silver nanoparticles supported on nanoscale silicate platelets (AgNP/NSP) possess interesting properties, including a large surface area and high biocide effectiveness. The nanohybrid of AgNP/NSP at a weight ratio 7/93 contains 5-nm Ag particles supported on the surface of platelets with dimensions of approximately 80×80×1 nm3. The nanohybrid expresses a trend of lower cytotoxicity at the concentration of 8.75 ppm Ag and low genotoxicity. Compared with conventional silver ions and the organically dispersed AgNPs, the nanohybrid promotes wound healing. We investigated overall wound healing by using acute burn and excision wound healing models. Tests on both infected wound models of mice were compared among the AgNP/NSP, polymer-dispersed AgNPs, the commercially available Aquacel, and silver sulfadiazine. The AgNP/NSP nanohybrid was superior for wound appearance, but had similar wound healing rates, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A levels and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 expressions to Aquacel and silver sulfadiazine.

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<![CDATA[Subcutaneous Fascial Bands—A Qualitative and Morphometric Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db14ab0ee8fa60bccc6f

Background

Although fascial bands within the subcutaneous (SQ) layer are commonly seen in ultrasound images, little is known about their functional role, much less their structural characteristics. This study's objective is to describe the morphological features of SQ fascial bands and to systematically evaluate the bands using image analyses tools and morphometric measures.

Methods

In 28 healthy volunteers, ultrasound images were obtained at three body locations: the lateral aspect of the upper arm, medial aspect of the thigh and posterior aspect of lower leg. Using image analytical techniques, the total SQ band area, fascial band number, fascial band thickness, and SQ zone (layer) thickness were determined. In addition, the SQ spatial coherence was calculated based on the eigenvalues associated with the largest and smallest eigenvectors of the images.

Results

Fascial bands at these sites were contiguous with the dermis and the epimysium forming an interconnected network within the subcutaneous tissue. Subcutaneous blood vessels were also frequently encased by these fascial bands. The total SQ fascial band area was greater at the thigh and calf compared to the arm and was unrelated to SQ layer (zone) thickness. The thigh was associated with highest average number of fascial bands while calf was associated with the greatest average fascial band thickness. Across body regions, greater SQ zone thickness was associated with thinner fascial bands. SQ coherence was significantly associated with SQ zone thickness and body location (calf with statistically greater coherence compared to arm).

Conclusion

Fascial bands are structural bridges that mechanically link the skin, subcutaneous layer, and deeper muscle layers. This cohesive network also encases subcutaneous vessels and may indirectly mediate blood flow. The quantity and morphological characteristics of the SQ fascial band may reflect the composite mechanical forces experienced by the body part.

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<![CDATA[Antimycotic Ciclopirox Olamine in the Diabetic Environment Promotes Angiogenesis and Enhances Wound Healing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e5ab0ee8fa60b6af54

Diabetic wounds remain a major medical challenge with often disappointing outcomes despite the best available care. An impaired response to tissue hypoxia and insufficient angiogenesis are major factors responsible for poor healing in diabetic wounds. Here we show that the antimycotic drug ciclopirox olamine (CPX) can induce therapeutic angiogenesis in diabetic wounds. Treatment with CPX in vitro led to upregulation of multiple angiogenic genes and increased availability of HIF-1α. Using an excisional wound splinting model in diabetic mice, we showed that serial topical treatment with CPX enhanced wound healing compared to vehicle control treatment, with significantly accelerated wound closure, increased angiogenesis, and increased dermal cellularity. These findings offer a promising new topical pharmacologic therapy for the treatment of diabetic wounds.

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<![CDATA[Primary Cilium Depletion Typifies Cutaneous Melanoma In Situ and Malignant Melanoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0fab0ee8fa60bcb678

Cutaneous melanoma is a lethal malignancy that arises spontaneously or via in situ precursor neoplasms. While melanoma in situ and locally invasive malignant melanoma can be cured surgically, these lesions can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from melanocytic nevi. Thus, the identification of histolopathologic or molecular features that distinguish these biologically distinct lesions would represent an important advance. To this end, we determined the abundance of melanocytic primary cilia in a series of 62 cases composed of typical cutaneous melanocytic nevi, melanoma in situ, invasive melanoma, and metastatic melanoma. Primary cilia are sensory organelles that modulate developmental and adaptive signaling and notably, are substantially depleted from the neoplastic epithelium of pancreatic carcinoma at a stage equivalent to melanoma in situ. In this series, we find that while nearly all melanocytes in 22 melanocytic nevi possessed a primary cilium, a near-complete loss of this organelle was observed in 16 cases of melanoma in situ, in 16 unequivocal primary invasive melanomas, and in 8 metastatic tumors, each associated with a cutaneous primary lesion. These findings suggest that the primary cilium may be used to segregate cutaneous invasive melanoma and melanoma in situ from melanocytic nevi. Moreover, they place the loss of an organelle known to regulate oncogenic signaling at an early stage of melanoma development.

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<![CDATA[CRF Receptor Antagonist Astressin-B Reverses and Prevents Alopecia in CRF Over-Expressing Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da97ab0ee8fa60ba271e

Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling pathways are involved in the stress response, and there is growing evidence supporting hair growth inhibition of murine hair follicle in vivo upon stress exposure. We investigated whether the blockade of CRF receptors influences the development of hair loss in CRF over-expressing (OE)-mice that display phenotypes of Cushing's syndrome and chronic stress, including alopecia. The non-selective CRF receptors antagonist, astressin-B (5 µg/mouse) injected peripherally once a day for 5 days in 4–9 months old CRF-OE alopecic mice induced pigmentation and hair re-growth that was largely retained for over 4 months. In young CRF-OE mice, astressin-B prevented the development of alopecia that occurred in saline-treated mice. Histological examination indicated that alopecic CRF-OE mice had hair follicle atrophy and that astressin-B revived the hair follicle from the telogen to anagen phase. However, astressin-B did not show any effect on the elevated plasma corticosterone levels and the increased weights of adrenal glands and visceral fat in CRF-OE mice. The selective CRF2 receptor antagonist, astressin2-B had moderate effect on pigmentation, but not on hair re-growth. The commercial drug for alopecia, minoxidil only showed partial effect on hair re-growth. These data support the existence of a key molecular switching mechanism triggered by blocking peripheral CRF receptors with an antagonist to reset hair growth in a mouse model of alopecia associated with chronic stress.

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<![CDATA[Targeting Cx43 and N-Cadherin, Which Are Abnormally Upregulated in Venous Leg Ulcers, Influences Migration, Adhesion and Activation of Rho GTPases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7bab0ee8fa60b985d6

Background

Venous leg ulcers can be very hard to heal and represent a significant medical need with no effective therapeutic treatment currently available.

Principal Findings

In wound edge biopsies from human venous leg ulcers we found a striking upregulation of dermal N-cadherin, Zonula Occludens-1 and the gap junction protein Connexin43 (Cx43) compared to intact skin, and in stark contrast to the down-regulation of Cx43 expression seen in acute, healing wounds. We targeted the expression of these proteins in 3T3 fibroblasts to evaluate their role in venous leg ulcers healing. Knockdown of Cx43 and N-cadherin, but not Zonula Occludens-1, accelerated cell migration in a scratch wound-healing assay. Reducing Cx43 increased Golgi reorientation, whilst decreasing cell adhesion and proliferation. Furthermore, Connexin43 and N-cadherin knockdown led to profound effects on fibroblast cytoskeletal dynamics after scratch-wounding. The cells exhibited longer lamelipodial protrusions lacking the F-actin belt seen at the leading edge in wounded control cells. This phenotype was accompanied by augmented activation of Rac-1 and RhoA GTPases, as revealed by Förster Resonance Energy Transfer and pull down experiments.

Conclusions

Cx43 and N-cadherin are potential therapeutic targets in the promotion of healing of venous leg ulcers, by acting at least in part through distinct contributions of cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and cytoskeletal dynamics.

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<![CDATA[Feasibility Study on a Microwave-Based Sensor for Measuring Hydration Level Using Human Skin Models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9faab0ee8fa60b71c3c

Tissue dehydration results in three major types of exsiccosis—hyper-, hypo-, or isonatraemia. All three types entail alterations of salt concentrations leading to impaired biochemical processes, and can finally cause severe morbidity. The aim of our study was to demonstrate the feasibility of a microwave-based sensor technology for the non-invasive measurement of the hydration status. Electromagnetic waves at high frequencies interact with molecules, especially water. Hence, if a sample contains free water molecules, this can be detected in a reflected microwave signal. To develop the sensor system, human three-dimensional skin equivalents were instituted as a standardized test platform mimicking reproducible exsiccosis scenarios. Therefore, skin equivalents with a specific hydration and density of matrix components were generated and microwave measurements were performed. Hydration-specific spectra allowed deriving the hydration state of the skin models. A further advantage of the skin equivalents was the characterization of the impact of distinct skin components on the measured signals to investigate mechanisms of signal generation. The results demonstrate the feasibility of a non-invasive microwave-based hydration sensor technology. The sensor bears potential to be integrated in a wearable medical device for personal health monitoring.

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