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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,014
Online ISSN 1827-1820
NEUROBIOLOGY OF THE SKIN
Raap U., Kapp A.
Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
Understanding the complex mechanism of allergic inflammatory skin diseases has been a main challenge of clinical and experimental research for years. It is well known that the inflammatory response is also controlled by tissue resident cells including neurons and structural cells. Thus, allergic inflammation triggers neuronal dysfunction and structural changes in diseased skin. Prime candidates for the interaction between immune, structural, and neuronal cells are presented by neurotrophins. Neurotrophins have initially been described for their neurotrophic capacity. However, recent evidence emerges that neurotrophins display bidirectional interaction pathways in activating structural cells, immune cells in addition to neurons. Neurotrophins including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are upregulated in allergic inflammatory skin diseases. Further, structural cells, neurons and tissue resident cells have not only been shown to be a target but also a source of neurotrophin. In this regard, eosinophil granulocytes which are key target effector cells in chronic inflammatory skin have been identified as a target of neurotrophins but are also capable of neurotrophin production. Thus, neuroimmune interaction mechanisms in allergic inflammatory skin display a novel pathophysiological aspect in which neurotrophins serve as prime candidates for bidirectional interaction mechanisms. In this review, we provide an actual overview of neurotrophins in healthy and diseased skin with special emphasis on atopic dermatitis and therapeutic implications.