Effects of tumor promoters on the rate and commitment to terminal differentiation of subpopulations of murine keratinocytes

John J. Reiners, Thomas J. Slaga

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73 Scopus citations


The effects of skin-tumor-promoting and -nonpromoting agents on the kinetics of terminal differentiation of subpopulations of keratinocytes differing in buoyant density isolated from mice (SENCAR) that are very sensitive to 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) promotion were investigated. Topical pretreatment of dorsal skin with complete (TPA), first-stage (calcium ionophore A23187) and second-stage (mezerein) tumor promoters, but not the hyperplastic agent ethylphenylpropiolate, accelerated the rate of terminal differentiation of keratinocytes with densities less than 1.074 g/cm3, but had little effect on cells with a greater density. Within 8.5 hr of TPA treatment, a period preceding mitosis, a large percentage of the most dense basal-cell keratinocytes (≥1.074 g/cm3) were converted to cells with a lower density, with a reduced plating efficiency and with an increased rate of differentiation, suggesting that TPA induces a subpopulation of basal cells to commit to terminal differentiation, and accelerates the rate of differentiation of committed cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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