Fox-P3-positive regulatory T cells are present in the skin of generalized atopic eczema patients and are not particularly affected by medium-dose UVA1 therapy

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2007 Apr-Jun;23(2-3):81-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0781.2007.00284.x.


Background: Regulatory T cells (T-reg cells) have been described as an important cell population in the UV treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.

Methods: We have treated five patients with generalized atopic eczema (AE) using medium-dose (15 cycles of 50 J/cm(2), total dose of 750 J/cm(2)) UVA1 therapy and have analyzed the skin-infiltrating T-cellular subsets before and after therapy. Skin biopsies were split for immunohistochemistry and Real-time PCR and analyzed for CD4, Fox-P3, GATA-3, and IL-10 transcription as well as for CD3, CD4, CD152, Fox-P3, and GITR staining.

Results: In all the investigated patients, we observed a good clinical response to UVA1. As described previously, the number of epidermal T cells slightly declined after irradiation. However, we did not observe a general decrease in T cell numbers. Within the population of T cells, no specific difference in the kinetics of Fox-P3-positive cells and Fox-P3-specific mRNA was noted as compared with GATA-3 positive T cells. These results were paralleled by RT-PCR for IL-10 and staining for CD152, a surface molecule that has been described for T-reg cells.

Conclusion: In our hands, the clinical benefit of UVA1 treatment in AE patients does not seem to be due to a preferential survival/proliferation of T-reg cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • CD4 Antigens / biosynthesis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Immunochemistry
  • Interleukin-10 / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / radiation effects*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Ultraviolet Therapy


  • CD4 Antigens
  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • GATA3 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Interleukin-10