Skin immune homeostasis is a multi-faceted process where dermal dendritic cells (DDCs) are key in orchestrating responses to environmental stressors. We have previously identified CD141+CD14+ DDCs as a skin-resident immunoregulatory population that is vitamin-D3 (VitD3) inducible from monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs), termed CD141hi VitD3 moDCs. We demonstrate that CD141+ DDCs and CD141hi VitD3 moDCs share key immunological features including cell surface markers, reduced T cell stimulation, IL-10 production, and a common transcriptomic signature. Bioinformatic analysis identified the neuroactive ligand receptor pathway and the neuropeptide, urocortin 2 (UCN2), as a potential immunoregulatory candidate molecule. Incubation with VitD3 upregulated UCN2 in CD141+ DCs and UVB irradiation induced UCN2 in CD141+ DCs in healthy skin in vivo. Notably, CD141+ DDC generation of suppressive Tregs was dependent upon the UCN2 pathway as in vivo administration of UCN2 reversed skin inflammation in humanized mice. We propose the neuropeptide UCN2 as a novel skin DC-derived immunoregulatory mediator with a potential role in UVB and VitD3-dependent skin immune homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108029
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2023


  • Immunology


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