Research ArticleSKIN

A protective Langerhans cell–keratinocyte axis that is dysfunctional in photosensitivity

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Science Translational Medicine  15 Aug 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 454, eaap9527
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aap9527

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Abrogating keratinocyte apoptosis in lupus

Lupus patients can experience photosensitivity as manifested by joint pain, fatigue, and skin rashes. To better understand the mechanisms behind this photosensitivity, Shipman et al. examined patient skin samples and mouse models of lupus. They saw that, in healthy mice and human skin exposed to ultraviolet radiation, Langerhans cells protected keratinocytes from apoptosis through a mechanism involving the metalloproteinase ADAM17 and EGFR ligands. In the lupus mice and patient samples, the Langerhans cells were unable to do this. Stimulating EGFR in the skin may bring relief to photosensitive lupus patients.