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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Aug 19;105(33):11875-80. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0801532105. Epub 2008 Aug 18.

TSLP acts on infiltrating effector T cells to drive allergic skin inflammation.

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Division of Immunology, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a cytokine expressed by epithelial cells, including keratinocytes, and is important in allergic inflammation. Allergic skin inflammation elicited by epicutaneous immunization of mice with ovalbumin (OVA), a potential model of atopic dermatitis, was severely impaired in TSLPR(-/-) mice, as evidenced by decreased infiltration of eosinophils and decreased local expression of T helper 2 (Th2) cytokines. However, secretion of Th2 cytokines by splenocytes from epicutaneous sensitized TSLPR(-/-) mice in response to OVA was normal. Skin dendritic cells from TSLPR(-/-) mice were normal in their ability to migrate to draining lymph nodes, express activation markers, and induce proliferation and Th2 cytokine production by naïve T cells. CD4(+) T cells from TSLPR(-/-) mice expressed the skin homing receptor E-selectin ligand normally, and homed to the skin normally, but failed to transfer allergic skin inflammation to WT recipients. TSLP enhanced Th2 cytokine secretion in vitro by targeting TSLPR on antigen specific T cells. Intradermal injection of anti-TSLP blocked the development of allergic skin inflammation after cutaneous antigen challenge of OVA immunized WT mice. These findings suggest that TSLP is essential for antigen driven Th2 cytokine secretion by skin infiltrating effector T cells and could be a therapeutic target in allergic skin inflammation.

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