New research in mice shows that the immune system in the skin develops distinct responses to the various microbes that naturally colonize the skin, referred to as commensals. A team led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that each type of microbe triggers unique aspects of the immune system, suggesting that immune cells found in the skin can rapidly sense and respond to changes in microbial communities. These findings help clarify the protective role of skin commensalsand may help explain how variation in the microbes at different skin sites contributes to skin disorders.
S Naik, N Bouladoux et al. Commensal-dendritic cell dialogue specifies a unique protective skin
immune signature. Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature14052 (2014).
Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D., chief of the Mucosal Immunity Section in NIAID’s Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases and senior author of the paper, is available for comment.
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