Microenvironmental network of clonal CXCL13+CD4+ T cells and regulatory T cells in pemphigus chronic blisters

October 20, 2023
We demonstrated the presence of skin tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs) with desmoglein-specific B cells in chronic blisters from patients with pemphigus. In the skin TLSs, CD4+ T cells predominantly produced CXCL13. These clonally expanded CXCL13+CD4+ T cells exhibited features of activated Th1-like cells and downregulated genes associated with T cell receptor–mediated signaling. Tregs are in direct contact with CXCL13+CD4+ memory T cells and increased CXCL13 production of CD4+ T cells through IL-2 consumption and TGF-β stimulation. Finally, intralesional corticosteroid injection improved chronic blisters and reduced skin TLSs in patients with pemphigus. Through this study we conclude that skin TLSs are associated with the persistence of chronically recurrent blisters in patients with pemphigus, and the microenvironmental network involving CXCL13+CD4+ T cells and Tregs within these structures plays an important role in CXCL13 production.

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