Epidermal caspase-3 cleavage associated with interferon-gamma-expressing lymphocytes in acute atopic dermatitis lesions

Simon, Dagmar; Lindberg, Raija L P; Kozlowski, Evelyne; Braathen, Lasse R; Simon, Hans-Uwe (2006). Epidermal caspase-3 cleavage associated with interferon-gamma-expressing lymphocytes in acute atopic dermatitis lesions. Experimental dermatology, 15(6), pp. 441-6. Oxford: Blackwell 10.1111/j.0906-6705.2006.00428.x

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Keratinocyte apoptosis mediated by Fas/Fas ligand molecular interactions and subsequent caspase activation is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD), in particular for the formation of spongiosis. To estimate epidermal caspase activation in normal and AD skin under in vivo conditions, we analysed caspase-3 cleavage by immunohistology. In normal skin as well as non-lesional AD skin, we detected caspase-3 cleavage in single cells of the basal layer. In contrast, in acute lesional AD skin, we not only obtained evidence for increased expression of cleaved caspase-3 in keratinocytes of the basal layer but also observed caspase-3 cleavage in one or more layers of the spinous cell layer, in particular in spongiotic areas. Short-term topical treatment of the skin lesions with tacrolimus or pimecrolimus abolished the expression of cleaved caspase-3 in the spinous layer. Moreover, epidermal caspase-3 cleavage correlated with the numbers of dermal interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-expressing CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes in skin lesions of AD patients, supporting the view that IFN-gamma is important for the activation of proapoptotic pathways in keratinocytes. This is also confirmed by the observation of increased Fas expression on keratinocytes in acute AD lesions that was markedly reduced following topical calcineurin inhibitor treatment. These data suggest that caspase-3 cleavage in the spinous layer of the epidermis is a pathologic event contributing to spongiosis formation in AD, whereas cleavage of caspase-3 in basal cells might represent a physiologic mechanism within the process of epidermal renewal.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Dermatology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology

UniBE Contributor:

Simon, Dagmar, Braathen, Lasse Roger, Simon, Hans-Uwe










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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:14

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https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/18764 (FactScience: 1002)

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