Fetal Epidermal Differentiation and Barrier Development In Vivo is Accelerated by Nuclear Hormone Receptor Activators1
Nuclear receptors which interact with the retinoid X receptor are involved in the regulation of epidermal differentiation and development. We have recently shown that activators of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor and of the farnesoid X-activated receptor accelerate epidermal barrier maturation in fetal rat skin in vitro. In this study we asked whether cutaneous development in utero was affected by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor or farnesoid X-activated receptor activators, or by an activator of another retinoid X receptor partner, liver X receptor. Activators of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (clofibrate or linoleic acid), farnesoid X-activated receptor (farnesol or juvenile hormone III), or liver X receptor (22R-hydroxycholesterol), were injected into the amniotic fluid of fetal rats on gestational day 17. Fetal epidermal barrier function and morphology was assessed on day 19. Whereas vehicle-treated fetal rats displayed no measurable barrier (transepidermal water loss > 10 mg per cm2 per h), a measurable barrier was induced by the intra-amniotic administration of all activators tested (transepidermal water loss range 4.0-8.5 mg per cm2 per h). By light microscopy, control pups lacked a well-defined stratum corneum, whereas a distinct stratum corneum and a thickened stratum granulosum were present in treated pups. By electron microscopy, the extracellular spaces of the stratum corneum in control pups revealed a paucity of mature lamellar unit structures, whereas these structures filled the stratum corneum interstices in treated pups. Additionally, protein and mRNA levels of loricrin and filaggrin, two structural proteins of stratum corneum, were increased in treated epidermis, as were the activities of two lipid catabolic enzymes critical to stratum corneum function, beta-glucocerebrosidase and steroid sulfatase. Finally, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha and -delta and liver X receptor-alpha and -beta mRNAs were detected in fetal epidermis by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and northern analyses. The presence of these receptors and the ability of their activators to stimulate epidermal barrier and stratum corneum development suggest a physiologic role for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor and liver X receptor and their endogenous ligands in the regulation of cutaneous development.Sign-in to see all concepts, it's free!