Cell Biology

Natural Skin Care

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Science  16 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5976, pp. 287
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5976.287-c

The skin acts as one of our primary defenses, protecting our organs and tissues from a dry and often hostile environment. During development, fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their receptors (FGFRs) help to produce and maintain a robust epidermis. Yang et al. generated mutant mice that lacked FGFR1, FGFR2, or both. Mice lacking keratinocyte FGFR1 appeared normal throughout development; those lacking keratinocyte FGFR2, however, had a reduced number of hairs and no sebaceous glands. Mice lacking both receptors displayed a more severe phenotype: As they aged, hair was lost, and the outer layer of the skin—the dermis—underwent fibrosis as a consequence of an increased inflammatory response. The tight junctions that hold skin cells together were also down-regulated in the mutant mice, which correlated with an impairment of epidermal barrier function.

J. Cell Biol. 188, 935 (2010).

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