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The role of CD44 in cutaneous inflammation

Authors

  • Mona Man,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA;
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  • Peter M. Elias,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA;
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  • Wenyan Man,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA;
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  • Yan Wu,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA;
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  • Lilly Y. W. Bourguignon,

    1. Dermatology and Medical Services (Metabolism), VAMC, San Francisco, CA, USA;
    2. Department of Medicine, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA;
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  • Kenneth R. Feingold,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA;
    2. Dermatology and Medical Services (Metabolism), VAMC, San Francisco, CA, USA;
    3. Department of Medicine, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA;
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  • Mao-Qiang Man

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA;
    2. Department of Dermatology, Zunyi Medical College, Guizhou, China
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Mao-Qiang Man, MD, Dermatology Service (190), 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA, Tel.: (415)750-2091, Fax: (415)750-2106, e-mail:mqman@hotmail.com

Abstract

Abstract:  CD44 is a transmembrane glycoprotein expressed in various tissues including the skin. Previous studies indicated that CD44 is required for epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis and keratinocyte differentiation. Yet, while some studies have demonstrated that CD44 is critical for the development of inflammation, others have shown that CD44 is not essential for the development of cutaneous inflammation. In this study, we evaluated the changes in epidermal CD44 expression in a variety of skin inflammatory models and determined whether CD44 is required for the development of cutaneous inflammation. Inflammatory responses were compared in CD44 KO versus wild-type mice in acute models of irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, as well as in a subacute allergic contact dermatitis induced by repeated hapten treatment. Inflammatory responses were assessed by measuring ear thickness and epidermal hyperplasia in haematoxylin & eosin-stained sections. Our results demonstrate that: (i) epidermal CD44 expression increases in both acute and subacute cutaneous inflammatory models; and (ii) acute disruption of the epidermal permeability barrier function increases epidermal CD44 expression. Whereas inflammatory responses did not differ between CD44 KO and wild-type mice in acute models of irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, both inflammatory responses and epidermal hyperplasia increased in CD44 KO mice following repeated hapten challenges. These results show first, that permeability barrier disruption and inflammation stimulate epidermal CD44 expression, and second, that CD44 modulates epidermal proliferation and inflammatory responses in a subacute murine allergic contact dermatitis model.

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