Expression of antimicrobial peptides and toll-like receptors is increased in tinea and pityriasis versicolor

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Summary

In superficial tinea and pityriasis versicolor, the causative fungi are for the most part confined to the stratum corneum which is barely reached by leukocytes. Therefore, a role of non-cellular components in the epidermal antifungal defence was suggested. To investigate the presence of such factors in these infections, the expression of human beta defensins 2 and 3 (hBD-2, hBD-3), RNase 7, psoriasin, toll-like receptors 2, 4 and 9 (TLR2, TLR4 and TLR9) and dectin 2 was analysed by use of immunostainings in skin biopsies. We found that hBD2, hBD3, psoriasin, RNase7, TLR2 and TLR4 were significantly more often expressed in distinct layers of lesional epidermis as compared with uninfected epidermis. In both infections but not in normal skin, hBD2 and hBD3 were commonly expressed within the stratum corneum and in the stratum granulosum. Similarly, psoriasin was seen more often in the upper skin layers of both infections as compared with normal skin. No significant differences between normal and infected skin were found for the expression of TLR9 and dectin 2. Our findings clearly show the expression of specific antimicrobial proteins and defence-related ligands in superficial tinea as well as in pityriasis versicolor, suggesting that these factors contribute to fungal containment.

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