Itching for new help for eczema: Recently identified immune cells possible therapeutic target
This is a visualization of innate immune cells in inflamed skin. A histologic section of skin isolated from MC903-treated Rag1-/- mice was stained to visualize cytokeratin (green), IL-33R+ innate immune cells (red) and DAPI+ nuclei (blue). Credit: Gregory Rak
Researchers have identified a previously unknown critical role for a recently identified immune cell population in the progression of atopic dermatitis. The team found an accumulation of innate lymphoid cells in the active lesions of patients with atopic dermatitis, and in mice, they showed that ILCs contribute to disease progression. These studies suggest innate lymphoid cells may be a new therapeutic target in treating the development and severity of atopic dermatitis.
The increasing incidence of allergic skin diseases, and the accompanying economic burden and heightened risk of developing other allergic conditions, have spurred researchers to look for better ways to control these immune system-based disorders.
Atopic dermatitis, more commonly called eczema, now affects 10 to 20 percent of children in the United States and direct health-care costs exceed $3 billion, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. What's more, up to 50 percent of children with atopic dermatitis will develop other allergic diseases, including asthma, a phenomenon termed the "allergic march," the gradual acquisition of co-existing allergic diseases.
David Artis, Ph.D., associate professor of Microbiology, and Brian Kim, M.D., clinical instructor of Dermatology, from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, have identified a previously unknown critical role for a recently identified immune cell population in the progression of atopic dermatitis. They describe their findings in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine.
The team found an accumulation of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) in the active lesions of patients with atopic dermatitis. Using a mouse model of atopic dermatitis they also showed that mouse ILCs contribute to disease progression. These studies suggest innate lymphoid cells may be a new therapeutic target in treating the development and severity of atopic dermatitis.
Under the Skin
"Like foot soldiers protecting the skin barrier from onslaught, innate lymphoid cells are present in healthy skin and we would predict that these cells play a role in maintaining normal tissue function and perhaps in protecting against microbes on this barrier," says Artis. "However, in chronic inflammatory diseases like atopic dermatitis, unchecked innate lymphoid cell responses can promote inflammation."
Kim adds, "A potential consequence of our more hygienic environment is that immune cells may be left somewhat redundant and so contribute to the increasing incidence of allergic diseases like eczema."
Many studies before the current one in STM have identified immune pathways that activate ILCs in such other tissues as the intestine and lung. "An unexpected finding of the current study is that innate lymphoid cells in the skin appear to be activated and regulated by different pathways," says Kim. "These findings suggest that tissue-specific local signals may regulate their function. This finding may also offer therapeutic potential to selectively target innate lymphoid cells in certain tissues, especially for limiting disease severity."
At present, the first-line therapy for atopic dermatitis remains topical steroids. Unlike other inflammatory diseases like psoriasis and arthritis that can be treated with modern biologic-based therapies, there are no targeted biologic therapies that are approved for use to treat atopic dermatitis.
"Our findings give us hope that new biologic therapies may be designed to treat atopic dermatitis in the future," says Artis.
These studies are part of a new collaboration between basic scientists in Penn's Department of Microbiology and Institute for Immunology, along with clinicians at Penn's Department of Dermatology. These studies are supported by the National Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Award program, which is administered through Penn's Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.
Journal reference: Science Translational Medicine
Provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
- Immune cell plays dual role in allergic skin disease Oct 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Perceived stress linked to asthma, atopic disorders Sep 21, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Genome-wide study identifies eight new susceptibility loci for atopic dermatitis Oct 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- New risk variant for atopic dermatitis identified Apr 06, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Lower occurrence of atopic dermatitis in children thanks to farm animals and cats Dec 02, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
The Durability of Bone: Long Falls
1 hour ago I am doing a paper on the physics in Valve's Portal and got interested in the "Long Fall Boots" that prevent any damage no matter how far you fall. I...
Is energy convertible to matter?
3 hours ago Can we convert energy to matter?
Rotating electron as a dipole is this right?
5 hours ago An electron as shown by the Stern Gerlach experiment behaves like a dipole (albeit only in one of two states). I have been trying to figure out how...
Dipole term in multipole expansion
9 hours ago Hi. I'm having some difficult in understanding something about the dipole term in a multipole expansion. Griffiths writes the expansion as a sum of...
Bubbles in a Pre-Boiling/Boiling pot of water
10 hours ago How is it that bubbles form on the bottom of a surface of a pot of boiling water? I think that there is probably an elementary answer to this...
Assumptions of Griffith's fracture theory
21 hours ago Any experts on Griffith's fracture theory? I am studying the subject and I am having hard time finding out if the theory is valid for all possible...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
Immunology May 20, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (21) | 8 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at King's College London have discovered that Vitamin D has the potential to significantly reduce the symptoms of asthma. The study, led by Professor Catherine Hawrylowicz from ...
Immunology May 20, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Melbourne researchers have identified an immune protein that has the potential to stop or reverse the development of type 1 diabetes in its early stages, before insulin-producing cells have been destroyed.
Immunology May 20, 2013 | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Raising hopes for cell-based therapies, UC San Francisco researchers have created the first functioning human thymus tissue from embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. The researchers showed that, in mice, ...
Immunology May 16, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Researchers from CNRS, Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier and IRD have elucidated new molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to visceral leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic infection. They have shown that dectin-1 ...
Immunology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
12 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
10 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 0 |
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
5 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
12 hours ago | 4.4 / 5 (5) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |