Unique regulatory T cell population identified in human skin
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) dampen the immune response against self antigens and contribute to the prevention of autoimmunity.
A skin-specific population of Tregs (mTreg) has been described in mice that has properties similar to memory T cells.
In mice, some mTregs are maintained in the skin for long periods of time and suppress cutaneous autoimmunity.
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Michael Rosenblum and colleagues at the University of California San Francisco analyzed the mTreg population in human skin, and found that human mTregs have unique features and localize to hair follicles.
mTregs isolated from human skin did not appear to recognize the same antigens as memory T cells isolated from blood.
In healthy skin, mTregs were relatively static; however, this population was greatly expanded in skin from psoriasis patients, suggesting that these cells are dysfunctional in inflamed skin.