CRC 1182 Talk by Prof. Dr. Ralf Paus (University of Manchester) – 31.05.2017

Biological Colloquium at the Biology Center of the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 11:00 am

Seminar room 4th floor of the Center for Molecular Biosciences (ZMB)
Am Botanischen Garten 11

As guest of the CRC 1182
Prof. Dr. Ralf Paus
University of Manchester

Talks about:
Translational immunobiology of the hair follicle
Hair follicles (HFs), one of the defining features of mammals, are among the very few tissues known to enjoy a state of relative immune privilege (IP), whose collapse plays a central role in the pathobiology of alopecia areata (AA), one of the most common autoimmune diseases of mammalian species. While the HF and AA thus provide excellent, accessible model systems for exploring the function, maintenance, and pharmacological restoration of IP for other, less accessible human tissues and their autoimmune diseases related to IP collapse, mainstream immunology has been painfully slow to recognize the immunobiology and -pathology of the HF as an area worthy of its attention. Here, we briefly review the essentials of HF immunology and its – as yet very poorly understood – interactions with the skin microbiome. We focus on HF IP and its clinical relevance, portraying HF keratinocytes and chemokines, antimicrobial peptides, neurohormones, and “danger” signals secreted/expressed by them as well as NKG2D+ cells (incl. gamma/delta T lymphocytes, NK cells and CDß+ T cells) as key players in this fascinating interface system. Speculating that our HFs provide an ingenious architectural arrangement that closely links environmental/microbial cues to systemic (immune) responses and could play a critical role in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance to antigens that have escaped central role, it is argued that systematically exploring and therapeutically targeting the microbial/keratinocyte interface in the context of human (!) HF immunology remains one of the most important, as yet insufficiently charted frontiers of clinically relevant skin physiology, microbiology and immunology.