Spatial transcriptomics combined with single-cell RNA-sequencing unravels the complex inflammatory cell network in atopic dermatitis.
IF: 14.710
Cited by: 1


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease with complex pathogenesis for which the cellular and molecular crosstalk in AD skin has not been fully understood. Skin tissues examined for spatial gene expression were derived from the upper arm of 6 healthy control (HC) donors and 7 AD patients (lesion and nonlesion). We performed spatial transcriptomics sequencing to characterize the cellular infiltrate in lesional skin. For single-cell analysis, we analyzed the single-cell data from suction blister material from AD lesions and HC skin at the antecubital fossa skin (4 ADs and 5 HCs) and full-thickness skin biopsies (4 ADs and 2 HCs). The multiple proximity extension assays were performed in the serum samples from 36 AD patients and 28 HCs. The single-cell analysis identified unique clusters of fibroblasts, dendritic cells, and macrophages in the lesional AD skin. Spatial transcriptomics analysis showed the upregulation of COL6A5, COL4A1, TNC, and CCL19 in COL18A1-expressing fibroblasts in the leukocyte-infiltrated areas in AD skin. CCR7-expressing dendritic cells (DCs) showed a similar distribution in the lesions. Additionally, M2 macrophages expressed CCL13 and CCL18 in this area. Ligand-receptor interaction analysis of the spatial transcriptome identified neighboring infiltration and interaction between activated COL18A1-expressing fibroblasts, CCL13- and CCL18-expressing M2 macrophages, CCR7- and LAMP3-expressing DCs, and T cells. As observed in skin lesions, serum levels of TNC and CCL18 were significantly elevated in AD, and correlated with clinical disease severity. In this study, we show the unknown cellular crosstalk in leukocyte-infiltrated area in lesional skin. Our findings provide a comprehensive in-depth knowledge of the nature of AD skin lesions to guide the development of better treatments.


Spatial Transcriptomics
atopic dermatitis
single-cell transcriptomics
spatial transcriptomics
targeted proteomics


Mitamura, Yasutaka
Reiger, Matthias
Kim, Juno
Xiao, Yi
Zhakparov, Damir
Tan, Ge
Rückert, Beate
Rinaldi, Arturo O
Baerenfaller, Katja
Akdis, Mübeccel
Brüggen, Marie-Charlotte
Nadeau, Kari C
Brunner, Patrick M
Roqueiro, Damian
Traidl-Hoffmann, Claudia
Akdis, Cezmi A