European journal of dermatology : EJD

Human β-defensin-2 and psoriasin, two new innate immunity targets of zinc gluconate.

PMID 22854010


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a large family of peptides implicated in innate immunity, especially in the epidermis. Zinc gluconate has been proven to be efficient to treat inflammatory dermatoses, such as acne vulgaris. The aim of our work was to determine whether AMPs could be new targets of zinc gluconate treatment in inflammatory dermatoses. To test this hypothesis, we used an ex vivo lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory skin explant model, with or without zinc gluconate pretreatment. We evaluated human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2), human β-defensin-4 (hBD-4) and psoriasin protein expression and release by immunohistochemistry and ELISA, as well as the mRNA expression level by quantitative PCR. We found that hBD-2 and psoriasin mRNA expression levels and hBD-2 extracellular release, but not hBD-4 expression and release, were significantly upregulated by zinc gluconate in LPS-stimulated inflammatory skin explants. These results suggest that hBD-2 and psoriasin may be two main targets of zinc gluconate, involved in its anti-inflammatory activity in dermatoses.