Letter: MicroRNA 150 in Humans and Murine Contact Sensitivity

October 2012 | Volume 11 | Issue 10 | Editorials | 1152 | Copyright © October 2012

Joel Wolf BA and William R. Levis MD

Vennegaard et al. report on the similarities of miR-21, miR-142-3p, miR-142-5p, miR-223 comparing Diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) in humans to 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) in mice1 and open an important unexplored area of contact sensitivity (CS) as emphasized by the Danish website www.mirskin.dk. Interestingly, their data also show a difference in miR-150 expression. In humans sensitized to DPCP, miR-150 rises; however, in murine sensitized to DNFB, miR-150 decreases.2 This can be an important difference, as miR-150 has been implicated in NK-T cells and possibly dendritic cell maturation, both of which are known to be important in CS.3 There have been also remarkable regressions of metastatic melanoma with DPCP topical immunotherapy.4 Further studies of micro RNAs in DPCP should be encouraged and will lead to improved understanding of CS as well as potential therapies of melanoma and other cancers via topical immunomodulation.5 We have previously reported that contact sensitizers are powerful topical immunomodulaters6 with the potential for treatment of warts, cancer, and autoimmune disease. It has recently been reported that DPCP can also be used to treat allergies.7 The discovery of miRNA regulation along with siRNA regulation of different immune signal transduction pathways offers limitless potential and a bright future for the development of new products in medical dermatology.


The authors have disclosed no relevant conflicts of interest.


  1. Vennegaard MT, Bonefeld CM, Hagedorn PH, et al. Allergic contact dermatitis induces upregulation of identical microRNAs in humans and mice. Contact Dermatitis. May 2012. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2012.02083.
  2. Zheng Q, Zhou L, Mi QS. MicroRNA miR-150 is involved in Va14 invariant NKT cell development and function. J Immunol. 2012;188(5):2118-2126.
  3. Balato A, Unutmaz D, Gaspari AA. Natural killer T cells: an unconventional T-cell subset with diverse effector and regulatory functions. J Invest Dermatol. 2009;129:1628-1642.
  4. Damian DL, Shannon KF, Saw RP, Thompson JF. Topical diphencyprone immunotherapy for cutaneous metastatic melanoma. Australas J Dermatol. 2009;50:266-271.
  5. Farazi TA, Spitzer JI, Morozov P, Tuschl T. miRNAs in human cancer. J Pathol. 2011;223:102-115.
  6. Holzer AM, Kaplan LL, Levis WR. Haptens as drugs: contact allergens are powerful topical immunomodulators. J Drugs Dermatol. 2006;5(5):410-416.
  7. von Moos S, Johansen P, Waeckerle-Men Y, et al. The contact sensitizer diphenylcyclopropenone has adjuvant properties in mice and potential application in epicutaneous immunotherapy. Allergy. 2012:67(5):638-646.
Joel Wolf BAa and William Levis MDb
aUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
bRonald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology
NYU School of Medicine