alexa Increased frequencies of IL-31-producing T cells are found in chronic atopic dermatitis skin.


Immunogenetics: Open Access

Author(s): Krisztina Szegedi, Andreas E Kremer, Sanja Kezic, Marcel BM Teunissen, Jan D Bos

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Interleukin (IL)-31 has been associated with pruritus, a characteristic feature of atopic dermatitis (AD). Local T cell responses may be responsible for the increased level of IL-31 mRNA observed in AD. We investigated the frequency of IL-31-producing T cells in AD lesions, as well as their cytokine profile. T cells were isolated from chronic AD lesions, autologous blood and healthy donor skin. Intracellular expression of IL-31, IFN-γ, IL-13, IL-17 and IL-22 was measured using flow cytometry. T cells from AD lesions contained significantly higher percentages of IL-31-producing T cells compared to autologous blood and donor skin. Many IL-31-producing T cells co-produced IL-13 and to lesser extent IL-22, but rarely IFN-γ or IL-17. A substantial part of the IL-31-producing T cells did not co-produce any of the other cytokines and could therefore not be linked to any of the known functionally different T cell subsets. The T cell infiltrates were also relatively enriched for Th2/Tc2 and Th22/Tc22 cells, while frequencies of Th1/Tc1 and Th17 cells were decreased. This is the first report describing the detection of IL-31 at protein level in skin-infiltrating T cells. We show here that T cells in chronic AD skin produce IL-31 and that AD lesions contain increased levels of these IL-31-producing T cells. This suggests that a substantial part of previously reported increased IL-31 mRNA levels in AD skin is T cell derived and that these cells may be involved in the pathogenesis of AD.

This article was published in Exp Dermatol. and referenced in Immunogenetics: Open Access

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