Single-cell transcriptomics applied to emigrating cells from psoriasis elucidate pathogenic versus regulatory immune cell subsets

Jaehwan Kim, Jongmi Lee, Hyun Je Kim, Naoya Kameyama, Roya Nazarian, Evan Der, Steven Cohen, Emma Guttman-Yassky, Chaim Putterman, James G. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background: In previous human skin single-cell data, inflammatory cells constituted only a small fraction of the overall cell population, such that functional subsets were difficult to ascertain. Objective: Our aims were to overcome the aforesaid limitation by applying single-cell transcriptomics to emigrating cells from skin and elucidate ex vivo gene expression profiles of pathogenic versus regulatory immune cell subsets in the skin of individuals with psoriasis. Methods: We harvested emigrating cells from human psoriasis skin after incubation in culture medium without enzyme digestion or cell sorting and analyzed cells with single-cell RNA sequencing and flow cytometry simultaneously. Results: Unsupervised clustering of harvested cells from psoriasis skin and control skin identified natural killer cells, T-cell subsets, dendritic cell subsets, melanocytes, and keratinocytes in different layers. Comparison between psoriasis cells and control cells within each cluster revealed that (1) cutaneous type 17 T cells display highly differing transcriptome profiles depending on IL-17A versus IL-17F expression and IFN-γ versus IL-10 expression; (2) semimature dendritic cells are regulatory dendritic cells with high IL-10 expression, but a subset of semimature dendritic cells expresses IL-23A and IL-36G in psoriasis; and (3) CCL27-CCR10 interaction is potentially impaired in psoriasis because of decreased CCL27 expression in basal keratinocytes. Conclusion: We propose that single-cell transcriptomics applied to emigrating cells from human skin provides an innovative study platform to compare gene expression profiles of heterogenous immune cells in various inflammatory skin diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1292
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Psoriasis
  • T cells
  • dendritic cells
  • emigrating cells
  • keratinocytes
  • single-cell RNA sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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