Fas ligand (FasL) exerts potent proapoptotic and proinflammatory actions on epidermal keratinocytes and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of eczema, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and drug-induced skin eruptions. We used reconstructed human epidermis to investigate the mechanisms of FasL-induced inflammatory responses and their relationships with FasL-triggered caspase activity. Caspase activity was a potent antagonist of the pro-inflammatory gene expression triggered by FasL prior to the onset of cell death. Furthermore, we found that FasL-stimulated autocrine production of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligands, and the subsequent activation of EGFR and ERK1 and ERK2 mitogen-activated protein kinases, were obligatory extracellular steps for the FasL-induced expression of a subset of inflammatory mediators, including CXCL8/interleukin (IL)-8, ICAM-1, IL-1α, IL-1β, CCL20/MIP-3α, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin. These results expand the known physiological role of EGFR and its ligands from promoting keratinocyte mitogenesis and survival to mediating FasL-induced epidermal inflammation.
Farley, Sherry M.; Purdy, David E.; Ryabinina, Olga P.; Schneider, Pascal; Magun, Bruce E.; and Iordanov, Mihail S., "Fas Ligand-Induced Proinflammatory Transcriptional Responses in Reconstructed Human Epidermis" (2007). Faculty Research. 26.