Psoriasis is a complex chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by epidermal thickening on the basis of increased keratinocyte proliferation and insufficient apoptosis. Laminins are important components of the basement membrane (BM) and impact on epidermal keratinocyte growth/apoptosis. Although several laminins are involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, it is still controversial about the expression patterns of laminin isoforms and which laminins are important in the development of psoriasis. Because laminin-511 and -332 are key BM components in human skin, and laminin-511 stimulates human hair follicle growth, we asked whether the BM zone in psoriasis shows any laminin-related abnormalities. This showed that the BM expression of laminin-511 and -332 was significantly increased within the skin lesion of psoriasis. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that laminin-511, -332, and collagen type IV proteins were also significantly increased in psoriasis-like skin lesions of Imiquimod-treated mice. Transmission electron microscopy showed a few gaps of lamina densa, and its thickness was significantly increased. Finally, laminin-511 treatment significantly stimulated the proliferation and inhibited apoptosis of HaCaT cells, while laminin-α5 chain gene knockdown decreased proliferation and induced apoptosis. These phenomenological observations raise the question of whether laminin-511-controlled keratinocyte growth/death may be a previously overlooked player in the pathogenesis of psoriatic epidermal lesions.
- basement membrane
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