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Proceedings Paper

Sulfur mustard disrupts human α3β1-integrin receptors in concert with α6β4-integrin receptors and collapse of the keratin K5/K14 cytoskeleton
Author(s): Robert J. Werrlein; Catherine R. Braue
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Paper Abstract

Sulfur mustard (SM; bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide) is a chemical warfare agent that produces persistent, incapacitating blisters of the skin. The lesions inducing vesication remain elusive, and there is no completely effective treatment. Using mulitphoton microscopy and immunofluorescent staining, we found that exposing human epidermal keratinocytes (HEK) and intact epidermis to SM (400 μm for 5 min) caused progressive collapse of the keratin (K5/K14) cytoskeleton and depletion of α6β integrins. We now report that SM causes concomitant disruption nad collapse of the basal cell's α3β1-integrin receptors. At 1 h postexposure, images of Alexa488-conjugated HEK/α3β1 integrins showed almost complete withdrawal and disappearance of retraction fibers and a progressive loss of polarized mobility. With stero imaging, in vitro expression of this SM effect was characterized by collapse and abutment of adjacent cell membranes. At 2 h postexposure, there was an average 13% dorso-ventral collapse of HEK membranes that paralleled progressive collapse of the K5/K14 cytoskeleton. α3β1 integrin, like α6β4 integrin, is a regulator of cytoskeletal assembly, a receptor for laminin 5 and a mediator of HEK attachment to the basement membrane. Our images indicate that SM disrupts these receptors. We suggest that the progressive disruption destabilizes and potentiates blistering of the epidermal-dermal junction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 June 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5323, Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences IV, (21 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.525179
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Werrlein, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (United States)
Catherine R. Braue, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5323:
Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences IV
Ammasi Periasamy; Peter T. C. So, Editor(s)

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