Human Skin Immunology
Little is known about the role that cutaneous B cells play in skin immunity, a significant gap in our understanding of the immunology of the skin. While cutaneous B cells are uncommon in healthy skin, they are present in inflamed skin and are most prevalent in skin lesions of patients with discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). However, the phenotype and function of B cells in DLE lesions have not been studied and it is unknown whether cutaneous B cells play a role in DLE pathogenesis. Our initial studies of cutaneous B cells in DLE will support our long-term goals of better understanding the role of B cells in skin immunity and developing improved targeted therapies for skin disease.