B.4: The Epidermal Barrier in the Inflammatory Response of the Skin
Autoimmune reactions, allergic diseases or infections compromise the integrity of the epidermal barrier. Keratinocytes show an immediate stress response to different inflammatory triggers by altering their differentiation and thereby epidermal integrity, but also by directly promoting inflammatory processes and even modulating adaptive immune mechanisms. In addition, local antigen-presenting cells such as Langerhans cells in the epidermis and dermal dendritic cells become activated during the development of cutaneous inflammatory responses and migrate to regional lymph nodes to induce antigen-specific T cell activation and differentiation (Th1, Th2, Th17, Th22, Treg). We will characterize the acute stress response of keratinocytes and epidermal antigen-presenting cells in inflammatory diseases of the skin and their role in modulating the immune response and epidermal barrier function. We will search for novel epidermal-derived factors promoting inflammation and exploit these factors as targets for monitoring epidermal stress responses in vivo using intravital microscopy and 5D-FLIM-based strategies. Knowledge will be transferred to clinically relevant disorders like psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis or infectious skin diseases.