Cutaneous-immuno-neuro-endocrine (CINE) system: A complex enterprise transforming skin into a super organ

Exp Dermatol. 2024 Mar;33(3):e15029. doi: 10.1111/exd.15029.


Skin is now emerging as a complex realm of three chief systems viz. immune system, nervous system, and endocrine system. The cells involved in their intricate crosstalk, namely native skin cells, intra-cutaneous immune cells and cutaneous sensory neurons have diverse origin and distinct functions. However, recent studies have explored their role beyond their pre-defined functional boundaries, such that the cells shun their traditional functions and adopt unconventional roles. For example, the native skin cells, apart from providing for basic structural framework of skin, also perform special immune functions and participate in extensive neuro-endocrine circuitry, which were traditionally designated as functions of cutaneous resident immune cells and sensory neurons respectively. At the cellular level, this unique collaboration is brought out by special molecules called neuromediators including neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, neurotrophins, neurohormones and cytokines/chemokines. While this intricate crosstalk is essential for maintaining cutaneous homeostasis, its disruption is seen in various cutaneous diseases. Recent study models have led to a paradigm shift in our understanding of pathophysiology of many such disorders. In this review, we have described in detail the interaction of immune cells with neurons and native skin cells, role of neuromediators, the endocrine aspect in skin and current understanding of cutaneous neuro-immuno-endocrine loop in one of the commonest skin diseases, psoriasis. An accurate knowledge of this unique crosstalk can prove crucial in understanding the pathophysiology of different skin diseases and allow for generation of targeted therapeutic modalities.

Keywords: crosstalk; endocrine; immune; neurons; psoriasis; skin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology
  • Neuropeptides*
  • Neurosecretory Systems
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Skin
  • Skin Diseases*


  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurotransmitter Agents