Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Immunobiology. 2009;214(9-10):877-86. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2009.06.013. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

Cutaneous distribution of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in lupus erythematosus. Selective tropism at the site of epithelial apoptotic damage.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Brescia, Italy.


Recent evidences suggest a significant role of Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) role in the pathogenesis of lupus erythematosus (LE) via production of type I IFN. Taking advantage on the availability of multiple reagents (CD123, BDCA2, and CD2ap) specifically recognizing PDC on fixed tissues, we investigated the occurrence of PDC in a cohort of 74 LE patients. The large majority of LE biopsies (67/74; 90.5%) showed cutaneous infiltration of PDC. PDC were more frequently observed (96.4 vs 72.2) and numerous in cutaneous LE compared to systemic LE (SLE) and correlated with the density of the inflammatory infiltrate (r=0.40; p<0.001). PDC reduction in SLE might be related to a broader tissue distribution of this cellular population, as indicated by their occurrence in kidneys in 11 out of 24 (45.8%) cases studied. The distribution of cutaneous PDC showed two distinct patterns. More commonly, PDC were observed within perivascular inflammatory nodules in the dermis, associated with CD208+ mature DC and T-bet+ cells [D-PDC]. A second component was observed along the dermal-epithelial junction [J-PDC], in association with cytotoxic T-cells in areas of severe epithelial damage. Notably, chemerin reactivity was observed in 64% of LE biopsies on endothelial cells and in the granular layer keratinocytes. Cutaneous PDC in LE strongly produced type I IFN, as indicated by the diffuse MxA expression, and the cytotoxic molecule granzyme B. This study confirms cutaneous PDC infiltration as hallmark of LE. The topographical segregation in D-PDC and J-PDC suggests a novel view of the role of these cells in skin autoimmunity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center