IL-4 up-regulates epidermal chemotactic, angiogenic, and pro-inflammatory genes and down-regulates antimicrobial genes in vivo and in vitro: relevant in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis
Shi, Vivian Y.
Chan, Lawrence S.
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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease. Although the pathogenesis of AD is not fully understood, we and others have shown that IL-4 plays a key role. In this study we aimed to identify keratinocyte genes regulated by IL-4 that may play important roles in the pathophysiology of AD. HaCat cells were treated with IL-4 at various concentrations for 24h, and PCR gene array on inflammation/autoimmunity was performed three times for analysis of differential gene expression. Of all the 370 genes examined, 32 and 53 genes are up- and down-regulated, respectively. Specifically related to AD, chemokines CCL3L1, CCL8, CCL24, CCL25, CCL26, CXCL6 and CXCL16 are up-regulated by IL-4. Pro-inflammatory factors, such as IL-19, IL-20, IL-1α, IL-12Rβ2, IL-25, IL-31RA, OSMR and nitric oxide synthase 2, are also up-regulated. In addition, IL-4 up-regulates VEGFA, a pro-angiogenic factor. In contrast, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) or factors involved in APM production, such as IFN-κ, S100s, Toll-like receptors, and several chemokines are down-regulated. Similarly IL-4 also down-regulates TNF-α, lymphotoxin-β, an IgE suppressor, TNFSF18, a T-cells function regulator, and the glucocorticoid receptor. On the in vivo level, real-time RT-PCR on the selected genes confirmed that IL-4 up-regulates chemokines, proinflammatory cytokines while it suppresses AMP production related genes in the skin obtained from IL-4 Tg mice. Detailed examination of these genes will delineate their specific roles in chemotaxis, inflammation, angiogenesis and AMP production, all of which may contribute to the development and progression of AD.