Hair follicle disruption facilitates pathogenesis to UVB-induced cutaneous inflammation and basal cell carcinoma development in ptch+/- mice

Academic Article


  • Hairless mice carrying homozygous mutations in hairless gene manifest rudimentary hair follicles (HFs), epidermal cysts, hairless phenotype, and enhanced susceptibility to squamous cell carcinomas. However, their susceptibility to basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), a neoplasm considered originated from HF-localized stem cells, is unknown. To demonstrate the role of HFs in BCC development, we bred Ptch+/-/C57BL6 with SKH-1 hairless mice, followed by brother-sister cross to get F2 homozygous mutant (hairless) or wild-type (haired) mice. UVB-induced inflammation was less pronounced in shaved haired than in hairless mice. In hairless mice, inflammatory infiltrate was found around the rudimentary HFs and epidermal cysts. Expression of epidermal IL1f6, S100a8, vitamin D receptor, repetin, and major histocompatibility complex II, biomarkers depicting susceptibility to cutaneous inflammation, was also higher. In these animals, HF disruption altered susceptibility to UVB-induced BCCs. Tumor onset in hairless mice was 10 weeks earlier than in haired littermates. The incidence of BCCs was significantly higher in hairless than in haired animals; however, the magnitude of sonic hedgehog signaling did not differ significantly. Overall, 100% of hairless mice developed >12 tumors per mouse after 32 weeks of UVB therapy, whereas haired mice developed fewer than three tumors per mouse after 44 weeks of long-term UVB irradiation. Tumors in hairless mice were more aggressive than in haired littermates and manifested decreased E-cadherin and enhanced mesenchymal proteins. These data provide novel evidence that disruption of HFs in Ptch +/- mice enhances cutaneous susceptibility to inflammation and BCCs. © 2014 American Society for Investigative Pathology.
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    Author List

  • Xu J; Weng Z; Arumugam A; Tang X; Chaudhary SC; Li C; Christiano AM; Elmets CA; Bickers DR; Athar M
  • Start Page

  • 1529
  • End Page

  • 1540
  • Volume

  • 184
  • Issue

  • 5