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Th2 cytokines enhance TrkA expression, upregulate proliferation, and downregulate differentiation of keratinocytes.

Journal of dermatological science (2015-04-01)
Sayaka Matsumura, Mika Terao, Hiroyuki Murota, Ichiro Katayama
ABSTRACT

Nerve growth factor (NGF), a neurotrophin that plays a critical role in developmental neurobiology, is released by proliferating keratinocytes and induces proliferation. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of tyrosine kinase receptor A (TrkA), a high-affinity receptor of NGF, in human keratinocytes. Expression of TrkA and NGF in skin diseases was investigated by immunohistochemistry. Expression of TrkA in cells was examined by Western blotting and RT-PCR. Cell proliferation was assessed by BrdU assay. We first determined the expression of TrkA and NGF in skin samples from patients with atopic dermatitis, prurigo nodularis, psoriasis vulgaris, and seborrheic keratosis. TrkA was only expressed in proliferating basal cells, and its expression was enhanced in atopic dermatitis samples. NGF expression was enhanced in atopic dermatitis and prurigo nodularis samples and in some samples from seborrheic keratosis patients. Investigation of the role of TrkA in vitro using normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) revealed that TrkA was significantly enhanced by the T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 but not by other inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor α, interferon γ, or epidermal growth factor. On the other hand, expression of NGF was not altered by Th2 cytokines. Notably, inhibition of TrkA significantly reversed the effects of IL-4 on proliferation and differentiation. Furthermore, overexpression of TrkA enhanced proliferation of NHEK. These results indicate that IL-4-induced TrkA expression in keratinocytes modulates proliferation and differentiation of these cells. Increased TrkA expression in keratinocytes in atopic dermatitis may contribute to the observed epidermal hyperproliferation in these patients.

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