Prolonged inhibition of mouse epidermal DNA synthesis by dexamethasone

T. J. Slaga, S. Thompson, E. A. Smuckler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The effect of dexamethasone, an antiinflammatory agent that inhibits skin carcinogenesis, on DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis in mouse epidermis was investigated. Within 1 hour after the topical application of 75μg dexamethasone to the skin of mice, epidermal DNA synthesis was inhibited drastically and lasted for approximately 5 days, followed by a biphasic stimulation at 7 and 10 days after treatment. Histologically, the skin after dexamethasone treatment revealed only subtle quantitative changes. The dermis was not altered. The epidermal thickness was unchanged, but the nuclei of the epidermal cells were more densely stained and the chromatin was more densely clumped. These changes were present by 12 hours and persisted for 10 days. Both epidermal RNA and protein syntheses were stimulated early, reached a peak of around 180% of controls at 1 hour, but returned to control levels by 3 hours. They were slightly inhibited between 3 and 12 hours after treatment and then returned to control levels. This prolonged inhibition of DNA synthesis by dexamethasone may be related to its anticarcinogenic effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-936
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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