Cellular and humoral components of the immune system of the skin

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Abstract


Along with mucous membranes the skin as the main barrier to the outside world creates a system of protection against any influences of the world. It is not only the place of realization of immunological processes, but it also actively participates in them due to the existence of its own elements of the immune system which are able to actively participate in the development of inflammatory reactions and neoplastic processes. Skin cells interact with cells of the immune system by setting a direct contact or by secreting a number of soluble factors, called cytokines, and other protein components such as proteins of the complement system. The general concept of skin-associated lymphoid tissue and skin’s immune system with immunocompetent cells in the epidermis and dermis, for cooperation of which in various stages of the immune response requires identity concerning anti-genes of HLA system, is presented in the review. Thus, specific immunological reaction with antibody formation promote the release of antigen from the body of both exogenous and endogenous origin. However, at violation of any element of immunological protection there is a delay of antigen elimination process, that results in own tissue structural damage. Interaction with foreign antigens (physical, chemical, infectious, etc.), denaturation of its own proteins or disclosure of tissue structures (antigens), that did not contact with immunocompetent cells, promote the formation of autoantigens and the production of autoantibodies against them. Thus, skin is a highly organized structure with a network of immunocompetent cells and soluble mediators. Introduction of molecular and biological methods as a knowledge tool is continually expanding the information about the skin as an organ of the immune system. The gained knowledge will definitely promote the development of new therapeutic approaches to skin diseases.

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About the authors

Natalie V. Makhneva

Moscow Regional Research and Clinical Institute

Email: makhneva@mail.ru
129110, Moscow, Russia
Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor of Department of Dermato-venerology and Dermato-oncology, Postgraduate Training Faculty

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