New types of immune cells have been found in the skin

New types of immune cells have been found in the skin (Credit: Shutterstock)
New types of immune cells have been found in the skin (Credit: Shutterstock)

Main Points:

Researchers have found a new type of immune cells in the skin that works efficiently against parasites such as ticks, mites, and worms. These cells are also thought to be linked to the allergic skin diseases and eczema.


Nature Immunology

Study Further:

These newly discovered cells belong to the family of group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2), which are present in the gut and lungs and found to be linked to asthma.

This is the first time these cells are found in the skin and they are present in a huge amount, according to Dr Ben Roediger, a research officer in the Centenary’s Immune Imaging Laboratory.

“Our data show that these skin ILC2 cells can likely supress or stimulate inflammation under different conditions,” he said. “They also suggest a potential link to allergic skin diseases.”

“There is a great deal we don’t understand about the debilitating skin conditions of allergies and eczema, but they affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Dermal ILC2 cells could be the clue we need to start unravelling the causes of these diseases.” Head of the laboratory, Professor Wolfgang Weninger said in a statement.

Researchers have not only found these new types of ILC2 cells but they have also given the new strain of mice capable of giving information about these cells.

“Using these mice, we found that ILC2 cells were the major population in the skin that produced interleukin 13, a molecule that has been linked to a number of allergic diseases, including eczema,” Dr Roediger said.

“We now have experiments underway in which we are actively looking for the direct involvement of these cells in the sort of skin diseases you would predict based on these findings,” Dr Roediger added.


The University of Sydney


Roediger, B., Kyle, R., Yip, K., Sumaria, N., Guy, T., Kim, B., Mitchell, A., Tay, S., Jain, R., Forbes-Blom, E., Chen, X., Tong, P., Bolton, H., Artis, D., Paul, W., de St Groth, B., Grimbaldeston, M., Le Gros, G., & Weninger, W. (2013). Cutaneous immunosurveillance and regulation of inflammation by group 2 innate lymphoid cells Nature Immunology DOI: 10.1038/ni.2584

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."