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Fox-P3-positive regulatory T cells are present in the skin of generalized atopic eczema patients and are not particularly affected by medium-dose UVA1 therapy

Authors

  • Christina Schnopp,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Biederstein,
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    • *These authors contributed equally.

  • Roland Rad,

    1. Department of Gastroenterology,
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    • *These authors contributed equally.

  • Anke Weidinger,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Biederstein,
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  • Stefan Weidinger,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Biederstein,
    2. Division of Environmental Dermatology and Allergy, GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany, and
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  • Johannes Ring,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Biederstein,
    2. Division of Environmental Dermatology and Allergy, GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany, and
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  • Bernadette Eberlein,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Biederstein,
    2. Division of Environmental Dermatology and Allergy, GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany, and
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  • Markus Ollert,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Biederstein,
    2. Clinical Research Division of Molecular and Clinical Allergotoxicology, Technical University Munich, Germany
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  • Martin Mempel

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Biederstein,
    2. Division of Environmental Dermatology and Allergy, GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany, and
    3. Clinical Research Division of Molecular and Clinical Allergotoxicology, Technical University Munich, Germany
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Corresponding author:
Martin Mempel, MD
Klinik und Poliklinik für Dermatologie und Allergologie
am Biederstein der TU München
Biedersteiner Str. 29
D-80802 München
Tel: +49 89 4140 3521
Fax: +49 89 4140 3552
e-mail: m.mempel@lrz.tum.de

Abstract

Background: Regulatory T cells (T-reg cells) have been described as an important cell population in the UV treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.

Methods: We have treated five patients with generalized atopic eczema (AE) using medium-dose (15 cycles of 50 J/cm2, total dose of 750 J/cm2) UVA1 therapy and have analyzed the skin-infiltrating T-cellular subsets before and after therapy. Skin biopsies were split for immunohistochemistry and Real-time PCR and analyzed for CD4, Fox-P3, GATA-3, and IL-10 transcription as well as for CD3, CD4, CD152, Fox-P3, and GITR staining.

Results: In all the investigated patients, we observed a good clinical response to UVA1. As described previously, the number of epidermal T cells slightly declined after irradiation. However, we did not observe a general decrease in T cell numbers. Within the population of T cells, no specific difference in the kinetics of Fox-P3-positive cells and Fox-P3-specific mRNA was noted as compared with GATA-3 positive T cells. These results were paralleled by RT-PCR for IL-10 and staining for CD152, a surface molecule that has been described for T-reg cells.

Conclusion: In our hands, the clinical benefit of UVA1 treatment in AE patients does not seem to be due to a preferential survival/proliferation of T-reg cells.

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