CD44/ Hyaluronan signaling in contact allergen induced keratinocyte activation
Greece (HelMSIC) - University of Crete, Heraklion
Anatomy-Histology-Embryology, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
Professor George Tzanakakis
Professor George Tzanakakis
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No No No Yes No Yes No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Irritant and allergic contact dermatitis (CD) are undesired side effects after contact with environmental or industrial chemicals as well as in the development of drugs and cosmetics. A skin sensitizer or contact allergen (hapten) is a chemical able to cause an allergic contact dermatitis in susceptible individuals. Epidermal keratinocytes sense haptens, which in turn initiate a program of enhancement or de novo expression of inflammatory molecules, which ultimately represent the starting point of primary inflammation. In all tissues, inflammation can be initiated and propagated by ECM (Extra Cellular Matrix) disruption. Molecules of ECM liberated by injury or inflammation include hyaluronan (HA) fragments, tenascins, and sulfated proteoglycans. These act as "damage-associated molecular patterns" (DAMPs) or "alarmins", i.e., endogenous molecules that trigger and subsequently amplify inflammation. Low molecular weight HA (LMWHA) are one of the recognized endogenous DAMP, which have been suggested to elicit immune-stimulatory effects, analogous to microbial pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), by triggering Toll-like receptors (TLR).

The aim of the project is to examine the potential role of hyaluronan metabolism in keratinocyte immune response. The proposed project aims to dissect the potentially crucial role of HA dependent signaling on keratinocyte activation and contribution to sterile immunological responses. Identification of the triggers of sterile inflammation represents an important goal with immediate diagnostic and therapeutic significance.

What techniques and methods will be used?
Cell culture techniques, in vitro assays (proliferation, adhesion, migration), Real-time PCR, western blot, immunoflourescence
What is the aim of the project?
What techniques and methods are used?
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- If the project includes “lab work”
- the student will take active part in the practical aspect of the project
- If the project is clinical
- the student will take active part in the clinical examination
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Clinical Examination and Lab Work
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation
- The student will prepare an abstract
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Preliminary readings, lab meetings, discussions will be provided. No special skills or legal limitations.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Hyaluronan regulates chemical allergen-induced IL-18 production in human keratinocytes. Toxicol Lett. 2014 Oct 1;232(1):89-97. Nikitovic D. Berdiaki A. Galbiati V. Kavasi RM. Papale A. Tsatsakis A. Tzanakakis GN. Corsini E.
- Role of oxidative stress in chemical allergens induced skin cells activation. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Nov;61:74-81. Corsini E. Galbiati V. Nikitovic D. Tsatsakis AM.
- Hyaluronan/RHAMM interactions in mesenchymal tumor pathogenesis: role of growth factors. Adv Cancer Res. 2014;123:319-49. Kouvidi K. Nikitovic D. Berdiaki A. Tzanakakis GN.