Periostin localizes to cells in normal skin, but is associated with the extracellular matrix during wound repair

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Epidermal tissue repair represents a complex series of temporal and dynamic events resulting in wound closure. Matricellular proteins, not normally expressed in quiescent adult tissues, play a pivotal role in wound repair and associated extracellular matrix remodeling by modulating the adhesion, migration, intracellular signaling, and gene expression of inflammatory cells, pericytes, fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Several matricellular proteins show temporal expression during dermal wound repair, but the expression pattern of the recently identified matricellular protein, periostin, has not yet been characterized. The primary aim of this study was to assess whether periostin protein is present in healthy human skin or in pathological remodeling (Nevus). The second aim was to determine if periostin is expressed during dermal wound repair. Using immunohistochemistry, periostin reactivity was detected in the keratinocytes, basal lamina, and dermal fibroblasts in healthy human skin. In pathological nevus samples, periostin was present in the extracellular matrix. In excisional wounds in mice, periostin protein was first detected in the granulation tissue at day 3, with levels peaking at day 7. Periostin protein co-localized with α-smooth muscle actin-positive cells and keratinocytes, but not CD68 positive inflammatory cells. We conclude that periostin is normally expressed at the cellular level in human and murine skin, but additionally becomes extracellular during tissue remodeling. Periostin may represent a new therapeutic target for modulating the wound repair process.

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