Chemerin and the recruitment of NK cells to diseased skin

Acta Biochim Pol. 2009;56(2):355-60. Epub 2009 Jun 18.


Natural killer (NK) cells play a major role in the initial control of many viral pathogens and in the rejection of tumors. Consistent with their roles as immune sentinels, NK cells are found in inflamed skin, including lichen planus, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD) lesions. In oral lichen planus lesions, the recruitment as well as intradermal colocalization of NK cells and pDC (plasmacytoid dendritic cells) appear to be mediated by chemerin, a recently identified protein ligand for chemokine-like receptor 1 (CMKLR1), a chemoattractant receptor expressed by both cell types. Dendritic cells can regulate NK cell activity, and NK cells can regulate DC-mediated responses. Since chemerin was recently implicated in recruitment of pDC to psoriatic skin, in this work we determined whether chemerin facilitates interactions between NK and pDC in psoriatic plaques through controlling influx of NK cells to diseased skin. We demonstrate that circulating NK cells from normal donors as well as psoriasis and AD patients respond similarly in functional migration assays to chemerin. However, differences in the distribution of NK cells and pDC in skin lesions suggest that recruitment of both NK cells and pDC is unlikely to be controlled solely by chemerin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Migration Assays, Leukocyte
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / physiology
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / physiology
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / physiology*
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Killer Cells, Natural / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / physiology*
  • Male
  • Psoriasis / immunology*
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Skin / immunology*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • CXCL10 protein, human
  • CXCL12 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • RARRES2 protein, human