Neuroimmunological Activities of Keratinocytes

May 6, 2003 | Contact Author | By: Sabrina Brenci, University of Genoa; Vincenzo Rialdi and Giorgio Rialdi, Vevy Europe S.p.A.
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Keywords: keratinocytes | catecholamines | cytokines | inflammation | stress | neuroimmunity

Abstract: The ability of keratinocytes to produce catecholamines indicates that the skin reacts to different types of environmental stress by secreting hormones that regulate vascular reactivity locally and blood flow through the microvascular circulation.

Several recent investigations have shown that epithelial cells actively take part in the control of homeostasis of the skin organism. This concept is essentially based on three observations.

  • Keratinocytes are able to synthesize cytokines and, thus, interfere with immunological processes.
  • Keratinocytes express receptors for catecholamines (CA), which are any of the group of amines derived from catechol that have imporant physiological effects as neurotransmitters and hormones and include epinephrine, norephinephrine and dopamine.
  • Keratinocytes locally synthesize CA hormones.