Prostaglandin E2 stimulates adaptive IL-22 production and promotes allergic contact dermatitis

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) and allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) are both forms of eczema and are common inflammatory skin diseases with a central role of T cell-derived IL-22 in their pathogenesis. Although prostaglandin (PG) E2 is known to promote inflammation, little is known about its role in processes related to AD and ACD development, including IL-22 upregulation.


We sought to investigate whether PGE2 has a role in IL-22 induction and development of ACD, which has increased prevalence in patients with AD.


T-cell cultures andin vivosensitization of mice with haptens were used to assess the role of PGE2 in IL-22 production. The involvement of PGE2 receptors and their downstream signals was also examined. The effects of PGE2 were evaluated by using the oxazolone-induced ACD mouse model. The relationship of PGE2 and IL-22 signaling pathways in skin inflammation were also investigated by using genomic profiling in human lesional AD skin.


PGE2 induces IL-22 from T cells through its receptors, E prostanoid receptor (EP) 2 and EP4, and involves cyclic AMP signaling. Selective deletion of EP4 in T cells prevents hapten-induced IL-22 productionin vivo,and limits atopic-like skin inflammation in the oxazolone-induced ACD model. Moreover, both PGE2 and IL-22 pathway genes were coordinately upregulated in human AD lesional skin but were at less than significant detection levels after corticosteroid or UVB treatments.


Our results define a crucial role for PGE2 in promoting ACD by facilitating IL-22 production from T cells.

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