Single-cell RNA-seq reveals new types of epidermal Langerhans cells and dendritic epidermal T cells

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Conference Proceeding

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J Invest Deramtol


Langerhans cells (LCs) and dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs) are two types of epidermis-resident immune cells in mice. LCs are epidermis-resident dendritic cells (DCs) and control both the induction of adaptive immunity and immune tolerance in skin, but do not fit into a clear DC–based scheme of DC1 and DC2, based on LC function and cytokine profiles. DETCs are the first T cells to develop during embryonic ontogeny and control skin homeostasis, inflammation, wound healing and malignancy. DETCs produce a variety of cytokines, but do not fit into a clear Th cell–based scheme of restricted cytokine production, as observed for Th1, Th2, Th17, or Tregs. Recently, new technologies have been developed that enable the profiling of single cells using next-generation sequencing, which offer an unbiased approach to studying immune cell diversity. Here, we performed single-cell RNA-seq of ∼14,000 epidermal CD45+ immune cells from adult C57/B6 mice. This single cell profiling strategy and unbiased genomic classification, together with follow-up profiling and phenotypic characterization, led us to identify 3 subtypes of LCs, called LC1, LC2 and LC3, and at least 3 subtypes of DETCs, called DETC1, DETC2 and DETC3. In addition, we also discovered some unknown epidermal immune subsets which need to be further clarified. Even though more studies are needed for a new taxonomy of LCs and DETCs, our current data build a comprehensive epidermal immune cell atlas, which will enable more accurate functional and developmental analyses of LCs and DETCs in health and disease.




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