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Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in cutaneous biology

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Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated transcription factors that regulate the expression of target genes involved in many cellular functions including cell proliferation, differentiation and immune/inflammation response. The PPAR subfamily consists of three isotypes: PPARα, PPARβ/δ and PPARγ, which have all been identified in keratinocytes. PPARβ/δ is the predominant subtype in human keratinocytes, whereas PPARα and PPARγ are expressed at much lower levels and increase significantly upon keratinocyte differentiation. PPARβ/δ is not linked to differentiation, but is significantly upregulated upon various conditions that result in keratinocyte proliferation, and during skin wound healing. In vitro and in vivo evidence suggests that PPARs appear to play an important role in skin barrier permeability, inhibiting epidermal cell growth, promoting epidermal terminal differentiation and regulating skin inflammatory response by diverse mechanisms. These proprieties are pointing in the direction of PPARs being key regulators of skin conditions characterized by hyperproliferation, inflammatory infiltrates and aberrant differentiation such as psoriasis, but may also have clinical implications in inflammatory skin disease (e.g. atopic dermatitis), proliferative skin disease, wound healing, acne and protease inhibitor associated lipodystrophia.

Keywords: differentiation; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors; proliferation; psoriasis; wound healing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: August 1, 2003


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