Author(s): Denda M, Tsutsumi M, Denda M, Tsutsumi M
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Abstract Epidermal keratinocytes are the epithelial cells of mammalian skin. At the basal layer of the epidermis, these cells proliferate strongly, and as they move towards the skin surface, differentiation proceeds. At the uppermost layer of the epidermis, keratinocytes undergo apoptosis and die, forming a thin, water-impermeable layer called the stratum corneum. Peripheral blood vessels do not reach the epidermis, but peripheral nerve fibers do penetrate into it. Until recently, it was considered that the main role of epidermal keratinocytes was to construct and maintain the water-impermeable barrier function. However, since the functional existence of TRPV1, which is activated by heat and low pH, in epidermal keratinocytes was identified, our understanding of the role of keratinocytes has changed enormously. It has been found that many TRP channels are expressed in epidermal keratinocytes, and play important roles in differentiation, proliferation and barrier homeostasis. Moreover, because TRP channels expressed in keratinocytes have the ability to sense a variety of environmental factors, such as temperature, mechanical stress, osmotic stress and chemical stimuli, epidermal keratinocytes might form a key part of the sensory system of the skin. The present review deals with the potential roles of TRP channels expressed in epidermal keratinocytes and focuses on the concept of the epidermis as an active interface between the body and the environment.
This article was published in Adv Exp Med Biol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research