UV-independent induction of beta defensin 3 in neonatal human skin explants

Erin Wolf Horrell, John D'Orazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In order to determine the effect of UV radiation on β-defensin 3 (BD3) expression in human skin, freshly-isolated UV-naïve skin was obtained from newborn male infants undergoing planned circumcision. Skin explants sustained ex vivo dermis side down on RPMI media were exposed to 0.5 kJ/m 2 UVB, and biopsies were taken from the explant through 72 hours after radiation. mRNA expression was measured by qRTPCR and normalized to TATA-binding protein. BD3 expression at each time point was compared with an untreated control taken at time 0 within each skin sample. Extensive variability in both the timing and magnitude of BD3 induction across individuals was noted and was not predicted by skin pigment phenotype, suggesting that BD3 induction was not influenced by epidermal melanization. However, a mock-irradiated time course demonstrated UV-independent BD3 mRNA increases across multiple donors which was not further augmented by treatment with UV radiation, suggesting that factors other than UV damage promoted increased BD3 expression in the skin explants. We conclude that BD3 expression is induced in a UV-independent manner in human skin explants processed and maintained in standard culture conditions, and that neonatal skin explants are an inappropriate model with which to study the effects of UV on BD3 induction in whole human skin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number288
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the staff of the University of Kentucky Obstetrics and Pediatric clinical services for their help in obtaining freshly-isolated neonatal foreskin samples and alerting us to their collection in a timely manner. We also wish to thank the University of Kentucky Markey Biospecimen and Tissue Procurement Shared Resource Facility for their assistance with tissue processing and histology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wolf Horrell E and D'Orazio J.


  • Beta-defensin
  • MRNA
  • UV radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)


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