Hydrolyzed wheat proteins (HWPs) contained in cosmetics have occasionally caused immediate-type hypersensitivity following repeated skin exposure. Although the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concluded that < 3,500 Da HWP is safe for use in cosmetics, it remains biological-ly unknown how allergenic HWPs evoke immediate-type allergy percutaneously. Keratinocyte-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) induces type 2 immune responses, which play an essential role in the pathogenesis of immediate-type allergy. Previously, we demonstrated that protein allergens in cultured human keratinocytes strongly induced long-form TSLP (loTSLP) transcription. However loTSLP-regulat-ing signaling by HWP is poorly understood. In this study, we performed global gene expression analysis by microarray to investigate how the allergenic HWP acts on epidermal keratinocytes and the induction of loTSLP. Compared to human serum albumin (HSA), allergenic HWP induced a distinct gene expression pattern and preferentially activated various inflammatory pathways (High Mobility Group Box 1, Interleukin [IL]-6, IL-8, and acute phase response signaling). We identified 85 genes as potential nuclear fac-tor-kappa B (NF-κB) target genes in GP19S-treated cells, compared with 29 such genes in HSA-treat-ed cells. In addition, HWP specifically altered IL-17 signaling pathways in which transcription factors, NF-κB and activator protein-1, were activated. NF-κB signaling may be an important factor for HWP-induced inflammatory loTSLP transcription via inhibition assay. In conclusion, allergenic HWP caused an easily sensitizable milieu of activated inflammatory pathways and induced NF-κB-dependent loTSLP transcription in keratinocytes.
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