Mesenchymal stem cells promote human melanocytes proliferation and resistance to apoptosis through PTEN pathway in vitiligo

Published on 2020-01-16T04:57:25Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background Vitiligo is an acquired chronic and recurrent skin disease that causes a depigmentation disorder, resulting in selective destruction of melanocytes (MC). However, the mechanism that leads to melanocyte dysfunction and death remains unclear. Methods We performed RNA sequencing, immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting to characterize the patterns of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)/phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) pathway activation in vitiligo. We also cocultured primary melanocytes with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a Transwell system to explore how MSCs inhibit the PTEN/PI3K/AKT pathway in melanocytes. Results We identified that vitiligo normal-lesional junction skin presented with high expression of PTEN, which led to the inhibition of AKT phosphorylation (p-AKT) at S-473. Furthermore, PTEN overexpression led to oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in melanocytes. Coculturing with MSCs enhanced the cell proliferation of human melanocytes and repressed PTEN expression, which inhibited oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Conclusion We report that vitiligo patients present with high PTEN expression, which may play a role in the impairment of melanocytes. Furthermore, our study provides evidence that MSCs target the PTEN/PI3K/AKT pathway to regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis in human melanocytes, indicating that MSCs may serve as a promising therapy for vitiligo.

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Zhu, Lifei; Lin, Xi; Zhi, Lin; Fang, Yushan; Lin, Keming; Li, Kai; et al. (2020): Mesenchymal stem cells promote human melanocytes proliferation and resistance to apoptosis through PTEN pathway in vitiligo. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4819344.v1