Background Nrf2 is a transcription factor that is known to maintain cellular defense against the toxicity of electrophiles and reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Methods We show an effect of Nrf2 deficiency on the histology of the esophagus of Nrf2 knockout mice.
Results Quantitative analysis of esophageal cornification via hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining revealed significantly (P = 0.0127) decreased stratification in Nrf2 knockout mice compared with wild-type controls. In addition, we show that Nrf2 is expressed solely in the stratum spinosum and not in the stratum basale of the epidermis. This expression pattern is exactly the same as those described for keratin K6 and K16.
Conclusions We conclude that Nrf2 regulates the cornification of epithelia and may play a role in callus formation and wound healing of the skin, as well as in skin aging.