Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a 50-kDa glycoprotein and a member of the serine protease inhibitor gene family, is well known as a potent endogenous inhibitor of angiogenesis. However, the expression of PEDF in human cutaneous appendages has not yet been determined.


To investigate the expression of PEDF in human cutaneous appendages.


Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect the expression of PEDF in human cutaneous appendages. Reverse transcriptase PCR, western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence were used to determine the mRNA and protein expression of PEDF on cells of the outer root sheath (ORS). A wound-healing assay was used to determine the effect of different concentrations of PEDF on the migration of ORS cells.


PEDF was expressed in the hair follicle (including epidermal matrix, inner root sheath, ORS and fibrous root sheath), sebaceous glands and eccrine sweat glands. Both protein and RNA expression of PEDF was detected, and expression was localized to both cytoplasm and nucleus of ORS cells. Both interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-17 at 25 ng/mL upregulated the expression of PEDF of ORS cells, with IL-4 having the greater effect. PEDF 50 ng/mL decreased migration of ORS cells.


PEDF is expressed in human cutaneous appendages and may play a modulatory role in the physiology of ORS cells.