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Specific roles for dendritic cell subsets during initiation and progression of psoriasis

Glitzner, E;Korosec, A;Brunner, PM;Drobits, B;Amberg, N;Schonthaler, HB;Kopp, T;Wagner, EF;Stingl, G;Holcmann, M;Sibilia, M;

Several subtypes of APCs are found in psoriasis patients, but their involvement in disease pathogenesis is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the contribution of Langerhans cells (LCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) in psoriasis. In human psoriatic lesions and in a psoriasis mouse model (DKO* mice), LCs are severely reduced, whereas pDCs are increased. Depletion of pDCs in DKO* mice prior to psoriasis induction resulted in a milder phenotype, whereas depletion during active disease had no effect. In contrast, while depletion of Langerin-expressing APCs before disease onset had no effect, depletion from diseased mice aggravated psoriasis symptoms. Disease aggravation was due to the absence of LCs, but not other Langerin-expressing APCs. LCs derived from DKO* mice produced increased IL-10 levels, suggesting an immunosuppressive function. Moreover, IL-23 production was high in psoriatic mice and further increased in the absence of LCs. Conversely, pDC depletion resulted in reduced IL-23 production, and therapeutic inhibition of IL-23R signaling ameliorated disease symptoms. Therefore, LCs have an anti-inflammatory role during active psoriatic disease, while pDCs exert an instigatory function during disease initiation.