Recruitment of activated T-cells to the skin is a common feature in a wide variety of inflammatory skin diseases. As CXCR3 activating chemokines CXCL10 (IP-10), CXCL9 (Mig), and CXCL11 (IP-9/I-TAC) specifically attract activated T-cells, this study addressed the question of whether differences in the expression of these chemokines correlate with the site and cellular composition of the skin infiltrates in different types of inflammatory skin disease. Skin biopsies from lichen planus, chronic discoid lupus erythematosus, allergic patch test reactions, psoriasis, and Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin were investigated for chemokine expression using RNA in situ hybridization, and for the expression of CXCR3 using immunohistochemistry. The results showed differential expression of CXCL10, CXCL9, and CXCL11, which correlated with differences in the localization and cellular composition of the infiltrates. Whereas CXCL10 and CXCL11 were mainly expressed by basal keratinoctyes, CXCL9 mRNA expression was located predominantly in the dermal infiltrates. Correlation with immunohistochemical data suggested that macrophages and activated keratinocytes were the main producers of these chemokines. CXCR3 was expressed by a majority of both CD4+ and CD8+ infiltrating T-cells, suggesting a functional interaction between locally produced chemokines and CXCR3-expressing T-cells. In conclusion, these findings indicate that these CXCR3 activating chemokines play a significant role in the recruitment and maintenance of T-cell infiltrates in the inflammatory skin diseases studied.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.