Investigating the role of memory T cell subsets in skin and hair follicle diseases

In New services by Anja Borrosch

Memory T cells, either residing (TRM) or recruited into the skin, play a fundamental role during pathogen invasion by quickly generating effector cells. However, they are also key players in mediating autoimmune skin disorders, such as vitiligo and psoriasis, where they can be rapidly re-activated to induce autoimmune responses. Thus, the presence of resident (or circulating) memory T-cells can greatly contribute to disease recurrence and severity.

To gain a deeper understanding on the role of memory T cells in skin and hair follicle disorder onset, severity, and recurrence, we can characterize distinct memory T cell subtypes. We can isolate blood circulating T cells from fresh and/or frozen human blood samples or (scalp) skin resident T cells from skin specimen (e.g. by magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS)). For further definition and detailed analysis of the distinct memory T cell subtypes, and their activation status, we can perform fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS), in situ hybridization, bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing, cytokine array and immunocytochemistry. Based on your research needs, we can also manipulate isolated cells in vitro or human skin organ culture ex vivo, e.g. with immunomodulatory test agents, prior to the analysis, to assess their impact on memory T cell composition or effector functions. Furthermore, we can perform comparative analyses using patient material from lesional and non-lesional diseased skin samples and compare it to skin samples from healthy individuals.


A robust understanding of circulating and skin resident (memory) T cell subtypes is crucial to promote the generation of novel therapeutical agents for immune mediated skin disorders (e.g. psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, etc.). This is particularly important for the generation of effective, long-term treatment strategies to reduce disease recurrence and severity.

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Triple staining (arrow) of the cytotoxic T cell marker CD8 (white) together with the CD103 (green) and CD69 (red) indicate the presence of skin resident memory T cells in healthy human skin.
FACS analysis of circulating memory T cells in fresh human blood.