Dioxin-enhanced expression of interleukin-1β in human epidermal keratinocytes: Potential role in the modulation of immune and inflammatory responses


Human keratinocytes are an important source of cytokines that participate in inflammatory and immunological processes of the skin. 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) has been shown to enhance the expression of the cytokine, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), in a human keratinocyte cell line. Here we have expanded this observation to primary cultures of normal human epidermal keratinocytes. Treatment of these cells with TCDD resulted in increased expression of IL-1β mRNA. Both the magnitude and relative fold increase of levels of IL-1β mRNA were affected by specific culture conditions. In specific analyses of each culture medium supplement, bovine pituitary extract (BPE) was shown to exert the greatest effect on both the constitutive and TCDD-inducible expression of IL-1β mRNA, and this effect of BPE was shown to be concentration-dependent. These results indicate that, in vitro, enhanced expression of IL-1β is a response of normal human epidermal keratinocytes to TCDD and furthermore, that the intensity of this response may be modulated by additional growth factors, including those present in BPE.

Publication Title

Experimental and Clinical Immunogenetics

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