SEP 27, 2021 8:42 AM PDT

Newly Identified Cell Type is Linked to Chronic Skin Disorders

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

The skin is the front line of immune defense, and acts as a simple barrier against pathogens, and it's exposed to many of them. Immune activity everywhere in the body, including the skin, has to be careully controlled because it can cause autoimmune disease when it's not properly regulated. The chronic skin disease atopic dermatitis (AD), which is thought to be caused by complex immune dysfunction, is estimated to affect about 15 percent of children worldwide, and for some, persists into adulthood. Reporting in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, scientists have discovered a type of cell in human skin that may play a role in inflammatory skin diseases like AD and psoriasis (PSO). These cells present a potential way to treat these diseases, suggested the researchers. Though the causes of AD and PSO are not completely understood, some types of activated T cells in the skin are known to release inflammatory molecules that can cause inflammation and disease.

Image credit: Pxfuel

Recent research has used single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to analyze antigen-presenting immune cells such as dendritic cells (DCs) that are involved in the activation of T cells. RNA-seq reveals all the messenger RNA transcripts in a cell, giving scientists a snapshot of the genes that are expressed in individual cells at one point in time. This analysis can often reveal a cell's type as well as details about what pathways or processes are active, and can do so for many cells at the same time.

This study showed that in skin affected by PSO, there were higher numbers of a type of dendritic cell called CD14+ DC3s, and these cells were expressing two cytokines called IL1B and IL23A that are known to be involved in PSO.

"The findings from this study are significant as it will allow the design of new strategies to target or modulate myeloid cell populations for better health outcomes for patients of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis," suggested senior study author Dr. Florent Ginhoux, a senior principal investigator at A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN).

"The roles of antigen-presenting cells in the development of inflammatory skin diseases remain unclear. This study clearly revealed the functions of each antigen-presenting cell subset, which is very informative and valuable to understand the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis," added Professor Kenji Kabashima, an adjunct Principal Investigator from SIgN and the Skin Research Institute of Singapore (SRIS).

Sources: A*STAR, Journal of Experimental Medicine

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
AUG 25, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
An Atomic-Level Look at Infectious Proteins
AUG 25, 2021
An Atomic-Level Look at Infectious Proteins
Scientists have used a tool called cryo-electron microscopy to get an unprecedented and detailed look at infectious, mis ...
SEP 02, 2021
Microbiology
Microbes Create an Electrical Grid in Nature
SEP 02, 2021
Microbes Create an Electrical Grid in Nature
The world is full of single-celled organisms, which can be found virtually everywhere from hydrothermal vents in the dee ...
SEP 07, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Genetic Influences That Help Make the Human Brain Unique
SEP 07, 2021
Genetic Influences That Help Make the Human Brain Unique
For years, many researchers have been trying to answer the question "What makes us human?" from both a biological and ph ...
SEP 27, 2021
Microbiology
Rift Valley Fever's Infectious Secret is Revealed
SEP 27, 2021
Rift Valley Fever's Infectious Secret is Revealed
Rift Valley fever virus is carried by mosquitoes, and when it's passed to livestock including cattle, goats, and sheep, ...
SEP 27, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
DNA Gives Clues to the Mystery of 'Skeleton' Lake
SEP 27, 2021
DNA Gives Clues to the Mystery of 'Skeleton' Lake
While this research has provided some answers, it also raised many new questions. An image by Atish Waghwase/Harney et a ...
OCT 08, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Deciphering a Massive Genome
OCT 08, 2021
Deciphering a Massive Genome
The human genome is about 6 billion base pairs, and there are plants with genomes that are much, much longer.
Loading Comments...