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  • 1 Department of Dermatology, University of Amsterdam The Netherlands
  • | 2 Department of Dermatology, University of Amsterdam The Netherlands
  • | 3 Department of Dermatology, University of Amsterdam The Netherlands
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Calcium plays an important role in the regulation of different functions of keratinocytes. In the present work we studied the effect of different extracellular calcium concentrations (0.01 mM-2.0 mM) on the proliferation and differentiation of human keratinocytes in normal human and non-lesional psoriatic skin. Using explant culture model, the proliferative and differentiated subsets of keratinocytes were detected by specific antibodies related to cell proliferation [beta-1 integrin (CD29), proliferating cell antigen (Ki67), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)] and differentiation [differentiated cell cytokeratins (K1/K10) and differentiating cell antigen (lectin Ulex europaius agglutinin, UEA-1)]. After 4 days of culturing at high Ca2+ (2.0 mM) we observed marked hyperproliferation among the normally quiescent keratinocytes of non-lesional psoriatic skin. In normal uncultured and cultured skin and in uncultured and two-day-cultured non-lesional psoriatic skin both at normal (1.2 mM) and at high (2.0 mM) Ca2+ concentration only one layer of basal CD29+/Ki67+/K1/K10-/UEA-1- cell was observed. In sections from non-lesional psoriatic skin cultured for 4 days in the presence of high Ca2+ (2.0 mM) this cell population has expanded from at least three layers above the basement membrane. This expanded cell population of the 4-day high Ca2+ cultured non-lesional skin showed clear PCNA positive staining on frozen sections with the strongest positivity among the most basal localized cells. These data suggest that (i) extracellular Ca2+ concentration can influence the proliferation of basal ("stem") keratinocytes, (ii) the proliferative response to high Ca2+ concentration of psoriatic non-lesional basal keratinocytes differs from that of normal basal keratinocytes, (iv) changes in the extracellular Ca2+ milieu might play a role in the induction of the hyperproliferative psoriatic lesion.

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