Tacrolimus does not alter the production of several cytokines and antimicrobial peptide in Malassezia furfur-infected-keratinocytes



Topical immunosuppressant therapy is widely used in the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Besides its beneficial therapeutic effects, application of topical anti-inflammatory drugs may render the epidermis more vulnerable to invading pathogens by suppressing innate immune responses in keratinocytes (KCs). Cytokines, chemokines and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced by epithelial cells enable them to participate in innate and acquired immune responses. The aim of the present work was to study the influence of tacrolimus (FK506) on KCs infected with Malassezia furfur (M. furfur), evaluating the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1α and IL-6, chemokine IL-8, anti-inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-β1) and IL-10 and AMP β-defensin-2. Human KCs were obtained from surgical specimens of normal adult skin. The expression of mRNAs in KCs: FK506-treated, FK506-treated and M. furfur-infected as well as only M. furfur-infected was quantified by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Next, the production of the AMP β-defensin-2 and of the above-mentioned pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines was evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In this study, FK506 did not alter cytokine and AMP production by KCs; this led us to hypothesise that it may not enhance the risk of mycotic skin infections.