Effects of etretinate on keratinocyte proliferation and secretion of interleukin-1α (IL-1α) and IL-8

J. Z. Zhang, K. Maruyama, I. Ono, Y. Nihei, K. Iwatsuki, F. Kaneko

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Etretinate has proven to be effective in the treatment of psoriasis. Since abnormal proliferation and cytokine secretion are well-known features of psoriatic epidermis, we studied the in vitro effects of etretinate on these two processes using human keratinocytes. Etretinate promoted proliferation of normal human keratinocytes (NHKs) grown in keratinocyte growth medium (KGM) but not in growth factor-deficient keratinocyte basic medium (KBM). Moreover, etretinate partly overcame growth inhibition by PMA. Etretinate was shown to have an effect on either IL-1α or IL-8 secretion in unstimulated NHKs. In HSC-1, a human squamous cell carcinoma cell line cultured in 20% FCS/DMEM, inhibited IL-1α secretion and enhanced IL-8 secretion. These results indicate that the effects of etretinate on keratinocyte proliferation and cytokine secretion may depend on cell type and culture conditions. Stimulation of NHKs with PMA significantly enhanced IL-1α and IL-8 secretion, and these effects were inhibited by etretinate. However, etretinate failed to inhibit rTNFα-induced IL-8 secretion, suggesting that etretinate regulation of NHK cytokine secretion may also depend on the stimulus. As treatment of keratinocytes or epidermis with PMA can induce psoriasis-like changes, so might the experimental 'anti-PMA' activity of etretinate be related to its therapeutic benefit in the treatment of psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-638
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dermatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell culture
  • Etretinate
  • IL-1α
  • IL-8
  • Keratinocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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