Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(6):2597-2608. doi:10.7150/ijbs.71719 This issue
1. College of pharmacy, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China.
2. School of Medicine, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.
3. Institute of Molecular Rhythm and Metabolism, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.
# These authors contributed equally to this work
Acne vulgaris is a common skin disease, affecting over 80% of adolescents. Inflammation is known to play a central role in acne development. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of the central clock gene Bmal1 in acne-associated inflammation in mice. To this end, mice were injected intradermally with Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) to induce acne-associated skin inflammation. We found that Bmal1 and its target genes Rev-erbα, Dbp, Per1 and Cry2 were down-regulated in the skin of P. acnes-treated mice, suggesting a role of Bmal1 in the condition of acne. Supporting this, Bmal1-deleted or jet-lagged mice showed exacerbated P. acnes-induced inflammation in the skin. Regulation of P. acnes-induced inflammation by Bmal1 was further confirmed in RAW264.7 cells and primary mouse keratinocytes. Transcriptomic and protein expression analyses suggested that Bmal1 regulated P. acnes-induced inflammation via the NF-κB/NLRP3 axis, which is known to be repressed by REV-ERBα (a direct target of BMAL1). Moreover, loss of Rev-erbα in mice exacerbated P. acnes-induced inflammation. In addition, Rev-erbα silencing attenuated the inhibitory effects of Bmal1 on P. acnes-induced inflammation. Bmal1 knockdown failed to modulate P. acnes-induced inflammation in Rev-erbα-silenced cells. It was thus proposed that Bmal1 restrained P. acnes-induced skin inflammation via its target REV-ERBα, which acts on the NF-κB/NLRP3 axis to repress inflammation. In conclusion, Bmal1 disruption is identified as a potential pathological factor of acne-associated inflammation. The findings increase our understanding of the crosstalk between skin clock and acne and suggest targeting circadian rhythms as a promising approach for management of acne.
Keywords: Acne vulgaris, BMAL1, REV-ERBα, skin inflammation, circadian rhythms, P. acnes