Background: Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and a related family member, neurturin (NTN), as well as their cognate receptors (GDNF receptors, GFRα-1 and GFRα-2, respectively) are involved in nervous system development and murine hair cycle control. To date, their expression in human scalp skin is still unknown. Materials and methods: The expression pattern of these proteins was examined in human scalp skin by immunofluorescence and immunoalkaline phosphatase staining methods as well as RT-PCR (GDNF). A total of 50 normal human scalp skin biopsy specimens were examined (healthy females, 53-57 years). Results: The expression of GDNF protein was strong in the epidermis and sebaceous and sweat glands. In the epidermis, GDNF protein expression was seen in all layers except the stratum corneum. It was strong in the basal layer and decreased gradually towards the granular layer. The results of RT-PCR analysis revealed that GDNF protein is synthesised in the epidermis. The expression of NTN, GFRα-1, and GFRα-2 proteins was strong in the papillary dermis and sebaceous and sweat glands. In the epidermis, NTN protein expression was absent. The expression of GFRα-1 and GFRα-2 proteins was moderate in the epidermis. The expression of c-Ret protein was consistently strong in the epidermis and sebaceous and sweat glands. These proteins were strongly expressed in both epithelial and mesenchymal compartments of human anagen VI scalp hair follicles. Conclusions: Our investigation reports, for the first time, the expression patterns of GDNF, NTN, GFRα-1, GFRα-2, and c-Ret proteins in human scalp skin. The expression of these proteins in the skin suggests their possible roles in skin homeostasis. The clinical ramifications of these observations mandate further investigations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine