Immune cells known as Tregs have an important role in preventing other immune cells from attacking the cells of our body and causing autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
A team of researchers, at Kyoto University Japan, and the Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, RIKEN, Japan, has now used mice engineered to express the photoconvertible fluorescence protein Kaede, which changes from green to red when exposed to violet light, to track Treg movement under physiologic conditions and during immune responses in the skin.
In the study, Tregs were found to move from the skin to designated regions for immune cell clustering known as draining lymph nodes. The extent of this trafficking was enhanced by skin inflammation but balanced under these conditions by movement of Tregs from the draining lymph nodes to the skin.
As discussed by Hironori Matsushima and Akira Takashima, at the University of Toledo College of Medicine, in an accompanying commentary, these data provide new insight into the regulation of immune responses in the skin.
The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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