Keratinocyte-Releasable Factors Stimulate the Expression of Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor in Human Dermal Fibroblasts

J Cell Biochem. 2017 Feb;118(2):308-317. doi: 10.1002/jcb.25638. Epub 2016 Jun 29.


Interaction between keratinocytes and fibroblasts plays a critical role in maintaining skin integrity under both normal and pathological conditions. We have previously demonstrated that keratinocyte-releasable factors influence the expression of key extracellular matrix components, such as collagen and matrix metalloproteinases in dermal fibroblasts. In this study, we utilized DNA microarray analysis to examine the effects of keratinocyte-releasable factors on the expression of several cytokines in human dermal fibroblasts. The results revealed significantly higher granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) expression in fibroblasts co-cultured with keratinocytes relative to mono-cultured cells, which was verified by RT-PCR and western blot. G-CSF is an important hematopoietic factor also thought to play a beneficial role in wound healing through stimulating keratinocyte proliferation. To partially characterize the keratinocyte-releasable factors responsible for stimulating G-CSF production, keratinocyte-conditioned medium (KCM) was subjected to thermal treatment and ammonium sulfate precipitation before treating fibroblasts. The results showed that keratinocyte-releasable G-CSF-stimulating factors remain stable at 56°C and upon 50% ammonium sulfate precipitation. Knowing that keratinocytes release IL-1, which stimulates G-CSF expression in various immune cells, several experiments were conducted to ask whether this might also be the case for fibroblasts. The results showed that the addition of recombinant IL-1 markedly increased G-CSF expression in fibroblasts; however, IL-1 receptor antagonist only partially abrogated KCM-stimulated G-CSF expression, indicating the role of additional keratinocyte-releasable factors. These findings underline the importance of cross-talk between keratinocytes and fibroblasts, suggesting that communication between these cells in vivo modulates the production of cytokines required for cutaneous wound healing and maintenance. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 308-317, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Conditioned* / chemistry
  • Culture Media, Conditioned* / pharmacology
  • Dermis / cytology
  • Dermis / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism*
  • Male


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor

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