Author(s): Kono M, Nagata H, Umemura S, Kawana S, Osamura RY
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Abstract Systemic stresses induce corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) expression in hypothalamus. CRH is released to the pituitary gland, where it stimulates proopiomelanocortin (POMC) production acting via the CRH receptor (CRH-R). CRH and POMC peptides are also detected in sites outside of the central nervous system (CNS), such as the skin. However, it has not been elucidated whether these peptides detected in the skin are derived from CNS or are produced locally. Using immunohistochemical and in situ reverse-transcription (RT)-PCR techniques, we demonstrated coexpression of CRH and POMC mRNAs in the epidermis and pilosebaceous units of the human skin. This coexpression was confirmed by the combination of laser-capture microdissection (LCM) with RT-PCR, analyzing mRNA expressions in captured sebaceous cells. Immunoreactivities and expressions of CRH and POMC mRNAs were strong in inflammatory lesions, melanocytic nevus, seborrheic keratosis, and also in the periphery of the benign tumor. These findings suggest that CRH and POMC peptides are produced locally in the skin and are regulated by inflammatory cells as well as by autocrine mechanisms. The skin may have "a local stress response system," whose activity is mediated by CRH and POMC peptides, in an equivalent to hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal axis.
This article was published in FASEB J
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research