Skin-Derived TSLP Triggers Progression from Epidermal-Barrier Defects to Asthma

MD Anderson Cancer Center, United States of America
PLoS Biology (Impact Factor: 11.77). 06/2009; 7(5):e1000067. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000067
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Asthma is a common allergic lung disease frequently affecting individuals with a prior history of eczema/atopic dermatitis (AD); however, the mechanism underlying the progression from AD to asthma (the so-called "atopic march") is unclear. Here we show that, like humans with AD, mice with skin-barrier defects develop AD-like skin inflammation and are susceptible to allergic asthma. Furthermore, we show that thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), overexpressed by skin keratinocytes, is the systemic driver of this bronchial hyper-responsiveness. As an AD-like model, we used mice with keratinocyte-specific deletion of RBP-j that sustained high systemic levels of TSLP. Antigen-induced allergic challenge to the lung airways of RBP-j-deficient animals resulted in a severe asthmatic phenotype not seen in similarly treated wild-type littermates. Elimination of TSLP signaling in these animals blocked the atopic march, demonstrating that high serum TSLP levels were required to sensitize the lung to allergic inflammation. Furthermore, we analyzed outbred K14-TSLP(tg) mice that maintained high systemic levels of TSLP without developing any skin pathology. Importantly, epidermal-derived TSLP was sufficient to trigger the atopic march, sensitizing the lung airways to inhaled allergens in the absence of epicutaneous sensitization. Based on these findings, we propose that in addition to early treatment of the primary skin-barrier defects, selective inhibition of systemic TSLP may be the key to blocking the development of asthma in AD patients.

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    ABSTRACT: Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is an epithelial-derived cytokine similar to IL- 7, whose gene is located on chromosome 5q22.1 and it exerts its biological function through the TSLP-Receptor (TSLP-R). TSLP is expressed primarily by epithelial cells at barrier surfaces such as the skin, gut and lung in response to danger signals. Since it was cloned in 1994, there has been accumulating evidence that TSLP is crucial for the maturation of antigen presenting cells and hematopoietic cells. TSLP genetic variants and its dysregulated expression have been linked to atopic diseases such as atopic dermatitis, asthma, allergic rhinitis and eosinophilic esophagitis.
    Expert Review of Clinical Immunology 10/2014; 10(11). DOI:10.1586/1744666X.2014.967684 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The molecular signature of atopic dermatitis (AD) lesions is associated with T(H)2 and T(H)22 activation and epidermal alterations. However, the epidermal and dermal AD transcriptomes and their respective contributions to abnormalities in respective immune and barrier phenotypes are unknown. Objective: We sought to establish the genomic profile of the epidermal and dermal compartments of lesional and nonlesional AD skin compared with normal skin. Methods: Laser capture microdissection was performed to separate the epidermis and dermis of lesional and nonlesional skin from patients with AD and normal skin from healthy volunteers, followed by gene expression (microarrays and real-time PCR) and immunostaining studies. Results: Our study identified novel immune and barrier genes, including the IL-34 cytokine and claudins 4 and 8, and showed increased detection of key AD genes usually undetectable on arrays (ie, IL22, thymic stromal lymphopoietin [TSLP], CCL22, and CCL26). Overall, the combined epidermal and dermal transcriptomes enlarged the AD transcriptome, adding 674 upregulated and 405 downregulated differentially expressed genes between lesional and nonlesional skin to the AD transcriptome. We were also able to localize individual transcripts as primarily epidermal (defensin, beta 4A [DEFB4A]) or dermal (IL22, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 [CTLA4], and CCR7) and link their expressions to possible cellular sources. Conclusions: This is the first report that establishes robust epidermal and dermal genomic signatures of lesional and nonlesional AD skin and normal skin compared with whole tissues. These data establish the utility of laser capture microdissection to separate different compartments and cellular subsets in patients with AD, allowing localization of key barrier or immune molecules and enabling detection of gene products usually not detected on arrays.
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    ABSTRACT: Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) plays an important role in allergic diseases and is highly expressed in keratinocytes in human lesional atopic dermatitis (AD) skin. In nonlesional AD skin TSLP expression can be induced by applying house dust mite allergen onto the skin in the atopy patch test. Several studies have demonstrated that the induction of TSLP expression in mouse skin does not only lead to AD-like inflammation of the skin, but also predisposes to severe inflammation of the airways. In mice, TSLP expression can be induced by application of the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (VD3) analogue calcipotriol and results in the development of eczema-like lesions. The objective is to investigate the effect of VD3 (calcitriol) or calcipotriol on TSLP expression in normal human skin and skin from AD patients. Using multiple ex vivo experimental setups, the effects of calci(po)triol on TSLP expression by normal human skin, and skin from AD patients were investigated and compared to effects of calcipotriol on mouse and non-human primates (NHP) skin. No induction of TSLP expression (mRNA or protein) was observed in human keratinocytes, normal human skin, nonlesional AD skin, or NHP skin samples after stimulation with calcipotriol or topical application of calcitriol. The biological activity of calci(po)triol in human skin samples was demonstrated by the increased expression of the VD3-responsive Cyp24a1 gene. TSLP expression was induced by cytokines (IL-4, IL-13, and TNF-α) in skin samples from all three species. In contrast to the findings in human and NHP, a consistent increase in TSLP expression was confirmed in mouse skin biopsies after stimulation with calcipotriol. VD3 failed to induce expression of TSLP in human or monkey skin in contrast to mouse, implicating careful extrapolation of this often-used mouse model to AD patients.
    02/2015; 3(1). DOI:10.1002/iid3.48

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