Scientific publications

An imbalance in Akt/mTOR is involved in the apoptotic and acantholytic processes in a mouse model of pemphigus vulgaris

Jun 23, 2009 | Magazine: Experimental Dermatology

Maider Pretel (1), Agustín España (1), Miren Marquina (1), Beatriz Pelacho (2), Jose María López-Picazo (3) and Maria J. López-Zabalza (2)

Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune blistering disease characterized by the presence of IgG autoantibodies against Dsg3.

Our aim was to investigate the molecular events implicated in the development and localization of apoptosis and acantholysis in PV. We used a passive transfer mouse model together with immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques and the TUNEL assay, with quantification analysis in the basal layer of the epidermis.

The activated signalling molecules analysed and apoptotic cells detected showed an identical localization. Here in, we found for the first time in vivo an increased expression of activated HER receptor isoforms in the basal layer in PV lesions. Besides, we observed the almost total lack of activated Akt compared with a higher level of activated mTOR within the basal cells of the epidermis.

Our observations strongly support that the restriction of acantholysis to the basal layer may be due, at least in part, to the selective and increased presence of activated HER receptor isoforms in these cells. After phosphorylation of HER receptor isoforms, intracellular signalling pathways are activated in the basal layer.

In addition, the imbalance in Akt/mTOR that takes place in the basal cells may provide intracellular signals necessary for the development of apoptosis and acantholysis.

CITATION  Exp Dermatol. 2009 Sep;18(9):771-80