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Br J Dermatol. 2008 Jun;158(6):1256-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08504.x. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

Profiles of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in eczematous dermatitis, psoriasis vulgaris and mycosis fungoides.

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Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Seiryo-machi 1-1, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan.



It is well known that regulatory T cells (Tregs), identified by their expression of CD4, CD25 and Foxp3, play a crucial role in maintaining peripheral tolerance. Recently, it has been demonstrated that a Treg population resides in normal human skin. However, only a few studies have demonstrated the presence of Foxp3+ Tregs in inflammatory skin disorders.


In this study, we immunohistologically examined the presence of CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ Tregs in the lesional skin of psoriasis vulgaris, mycosis fungoides and eczematous dermatitis.


We used immunohistochemistry to examine the presence of Foxp3+ Tregs in fixed sections of the lesional skin from 16 patients with psoriasis vulgaris, 17 patients with mycosis fungides and 18 patients with eczematous dermatitis in addition to 10 normal skin samples.


In normal skin, epidermal and dermal Foxp3+ cells were rare. The psoriasis vulgaris, mycosis fungoides and eczematous dermatitis samples contained substantial numbers of epidermal and dermal CD3+, CD4+ and CD25+ Foxp3+ Tregs. The epidermis contained a higher percentage of CD3+, CD4+ and CD25+ Foxp3+ cells than the dermis. The percentage of Foxp3+ cells among CD3+ or CD4+ cells was significantly lower in eczematous dermatitis than in psoriasis vulgaris or mycosis fungoides, and that of dermal Foxp3+ cells was significantly lower in psoriasis vulgaris than in eczematous dermatitis or mycosis fungoides.


The lower percentage of epidermal or dermal Foxp3+ cells in eczematous dermatitis or psoriasis vulgaris, respectively, might contribute to their pathogenesis.

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