PloS one

The Alpha-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone Suppresses TLR2-Mediated Functional Responses through IRAK-M in Normal Human Keratinocytes.

PMID 26309029


Alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a highly conserved 13-aa neuropeptide derived from pro-opiomelanocortin by post-translational processing, which has been reported to exhibit potent anti-inflammatory activity and a wide range of immunosuppressive activities in the skin. However, the regulatory effect of α-MSH is not completely clear in cutaneous innate immunity. In this study, we investigate the functional regulation of α-MSH in TLR2-mediated inflammatory responses in normal human keratinocytes (HKs). α-MSH pretreatment down-regulated the Staphylococcus aureus LTA-induced expression of both TLR2 and IL-8 as well as NF-κB nuclear translocation in HK cells. The inhibitory effect of α-MSH was blocked by agouti signaling protein (ASP), an α-MSH receptor-1 antagonist. To investigate the mechanism of this response in more detail, siRNA of IRAK-M, a negative regulator of TLR signaling, was utilized in these studies. The α-MSH suppressive effect on IL-8 production and NF-κB transactivation was inhibited by IRAK-M siRNA transfection in HK cells. These results indicate that α-MSH is capable of suppressing keratinocyte TLR2-mediated inflammatory responses induced by S. aureus-LTA, thus demonstrating another novel immunomodulatory activity of α-MSH in normal human keratinocytes.