Expression of chitinase-like proteins in the skin of chronic proliferative dermatitis (cpdm/cpdm) mice

Harm HogenEsch, Anisa Dunham, Rosemarie Seymour, Matthew Renninger, John P. Sundberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Mammalian chitinase-like proteins belong to a family of proteins structurally related to chitinases but devoid of enzymatic activity. They have a postulated role in remodeling of extracellular matrix and defense mechanisms against chitin-containing pathogens. The expression of these proteins is increased in parasitic infections and allergic airway disease, but their expression in dermatitis has not been examined. The mRNA expression of two chitinase 3-like (Chi3L) proteins, Chi3L3 (Ym1) and Chi3L4 (Ym2), was determined in the skin of normal mice, chronic proliferative dermatitis (cpdm/cpdm) mutant mice and mice with experimentally induced contact hypersensitivity reaction. The localization of Chi3L3 and Chi3L4 proteins in cells was determined by fluorescence microscopy of double-labeled frozen sections of skin, and confirmed in vitro by stimulation of macrophages and mast cells with cytokines. Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated a 976-fold increase of Chi3l4 mRNA expression and a 24-fold increase of Chi3l3 mRNA expression in the skin of cpdm/cpdm mice. Their expression was also increased in the ears of mice with 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene-induced contact hypersensitivity, but the increase was greater for Chi3l3 mRNA (51-fold) than Chi3l4 mRNA (32-fold). Western blot analysis with an antibody against Chi3L3 and Chi3L4 confirmed the increased amount of these proteins in the skin of cpdm/cpdm mice. Two-color immunofluorescence identified macrophages, dendritic cells and mast cells as cellular sources of Chi3L3 and Chi3L4 proteins. Eosinophils and neutrophils did not contain detectable concentrations of these proteins. Treatment of macrophages and mast cells in vitro with interleukin-4 induced expression of Chi3l3 and Chi3l4 mRNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)808-814
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chitinase-like proteins
  • Dermatitis
  • Macrophages
  • Mast cells
  • Mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology

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