The thyroid hormone receptors as modulators of skin proliferation and inflammation

J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 8;286(27):24079-88. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.218487. Epub 2011 May 12.


We have analyzed the role of the thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) in epidermal homeostasis. Reduced keratinocyte proliferation is found in interfollicular epidermis of mice lacking the thyroid hormone binding isoforms TRα1 and TRβ (KO mice). Similar results were obtained in hypothyroid animals, showing the important role of the liganded TRs in epidermal proliferation. In addition, KO and hypothyroid animals display decreased hyperplasia in response to 12-O-tetradecanolyphorbol-13-acetate. Both receptor isoforms play overlapping functional roles in the skin because mice lacking individually TRα1 or TRβ also present a proliferative defect but not as marked as that found in double KO mice. Defective proliferation in KO mice is associated with reduction of cyclin D1 expression and up-regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p19 and p27. Paradoxically, ERK and AKT activity and expression of downstream targets, such as AP-1 components, are increased in KO mice. Increased p65/NF-κB and STAT3 phosphorylation and, as a consequence, augmented expression of chemokines and proinflammatory cytokines is also found in these animals. These results show that thyroid hormones and their receptors are important mediators of skin proliferation and demonstrate that TRs act as endogenous inhibitors of skin inflammation, most likely due to interference with AP-1, NF-κB, and STAT3 activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogens / pharmacology
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cyclin D1 / genetics
  • Cyclin D1 / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p19 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p19 / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27 / metabolism
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dermatitis / genetics
  • Dermatitis / metabolism*
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / genetics
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Phosphorylation / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Thyroid Hormone Receptors alpha / genetics
  • Thyroid Hormone Receptors alpha / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Hormone Receptors beta / genetics
  • Thyroid Hormone Receptors beta / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factor RelA / genetics
  • Transcription Factor RelA / metabolism


  • Carcinogens
  • Ccnd1 protein, mouse
  • Cdkn1b protein, mouse
  • Cdkn2d protein, mouse
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p19
  • Cytokines
  • Rela protein, mouse
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Stat3 protein, mouse
  • Thyroid Hormone Receptors alpha
  • Thyroid Hormone Receptors beta
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Cyclin D1
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate