Apoptosis is a cellular process of self-directed suicide that plays a key role during morphogenesis and in the maintenance of homeostasis in continuously renewing tissues, Currently, apoptosis is detected mainly by gel electrophoresis of fragmented DNA and by typical ultrastructural features such as cell shrinkage and chromatin condensation, Recently, an in situ technique was developed that allows the detection of the apoptotic process in cells and the quantitation of apoptosis in cell populations, We applied this technique to evaluate the apoptotic process in cultured normal human keratinocytes under basic conditions and after stimulation with factors and agents that are presumed but have never been proved to induce apoptosis in these cells, Apoptosis was analyzed after stimulation with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-3[1,25(OH)(2)D-3], transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF beta 1), calcium, UVB, or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), All these factors except TNF alpha induced apoptosis in human keratinocytes. Whereas UVB and calcium were good apoptogenic stimuli at 6 and 24 h, respectively, the vitamin D derivative and TGF beta 1 induced apoptosis after 5 and 6 d in culture, Apoptosis was also established by DNA fragmentation and electron microscopy. Finally, TUNEL technique showed that the number of apoptotic cells increases slightly (5-10%) from 24 to 144 h even in untreated keratinocytes, Our studies indicate that factors normally involved in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation can also control apoptosis.
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-3, transforming growth factor beta 1, calcium, and ultraviolet B radiation induce apoptosis in cultured human keratinocytes / Benassi, Luisa; D., Ottani; F., Fantini; Marconi, Alessandra; C., Chiodino; Giannetti, Alberto; Pincelli, Carlo. - In: JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE DERMATOLOGY. - ISSN 0022-202X. - STAMPA. - 109:(1997), pp. 276-282.