Retinoids, vitamin A derivatives, are important regulators of the growth and differentiation of skin cells. Although retinoids are therapeutically used for several skin ailments, little is known about their effects on P2 receptors, known to be involved in various functions in the skin. DNA array analysis showed that treatment of normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEKs) with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), an agonist to RAR (retinoic acid receptor), enhanced the expression of mRNA for the P2Y2 receptor, a metabotropic P2 receptor that is known to be involved in the proliferation of the epidermis. The expression of other P2 receptors in NHEKs was not affected by ATRA. ATRA increased the mRNA for the P2Y2 receptor in a concentration-dependent fashion (1 nM to 1 μM). Am80, a synthesized agonist to RAR, showed a similar enhancement, whereas 9-cis-retinoic acid (9-isRA), an agonist to RXR (retinoid X receptor), enhanced P2Y2 gene expression to a lesser extent. Ca2+ imaging analysis showed that ATRA also increased the function of P2Y2 receptors in NHEKs. Retinoids are known to enhance the turnover of the epidermis by increasing both proliferation and terminal differentiation. The DNA microarray analysis also revealed that ATRA upregulates various genes involved in the differentiation of NHEKs. Our present results suggest that retinoids, at least in part, exert their proliferative effects by upregulating P2Y2 receptors in NHEKs. This effect of retinoids may be closely related to their therapeutic effect against various ailments or aging events in skins such as over-keratinization, pigmentation and re-modeling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology