Objectives: Keratinocyte stem/progenitor cells (KSCs) are known to regenerate epidermal tissue which they perform through to their great regenerative capacity. Materials and methods: Because stimulation of resident KSCs may regenerate epidermal tissue, we devised a strategy to find an appropriate KSC activator from natural products and to develop it as a skin-rejuvenating agent. Results: Ent-16α, 17-dihydroxy-kauran-19-oic acid (DHK) isolated from Siegesbeckia pubescens exhib- ited a KSC-stimulating effect during screening of natural products. DHK increased proliferation and migration of KSCs using the Akt/ERK pathway. We further examined the mechanism of KSC stimulation and found that phosphorylation of Y1068 epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) was significantly increased. Functional inhibition of EGFR using neutralizing antibody and a chemical inhibitor, AG1478, attenuated DHK-induced KSC stimulation. In a 3D culture model of KSCs, DHK treatment significantly induced establishment of fully stratified epidermis and increased numbers of p63-positive cells. Likewise, DHK treatment significantly accelerated healing of epidermal wounds created by laser and dermatome, and increased p63-positive cells, in animal models. Conclusion: Collectively, these results indicate that DHK regenerates epidermal tissue mainly through EGFR phosphorylation. As DHK has diverse advantages over recombinant growth factors for commercialization (that is long-term stability and skin permeability), DHK might be applied to wound-healing agents and to a basic materials used in cosmetics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology