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Keratinocyte-derived defensins activate neutrophil-specific receptors Mrgpra2a/b to prevent skin...

October 2022


Keratinocyte-derived defensins activate neutrophil-specific receptors Mrgpra2a/b to prevent skin dysbiosis and bacterial infection


"Healthy skin maintains a diverse microbiome and a potent immune system to fight off infections. Here, we discovered that the epithelial-cell-derived antimicrobial peptides defensins activated orphan G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) Mrgpra2a/b on neutrophils. This signaling axis was required for effective neutrophil-mediated skin immunity and microbiome homeostasis. We generated mutant mouse lines lacking the entire Defensin (Def) gene cluster in keratinocytes or Mrgpra2a/b. Def and Mrgpra2 mutant animals both exhibited skin dysbiosis, with reduced microbial diversity and expansion of Staphylococcus species. Defensins and Mrgpra2 were critical for combating S. aureus infections and the formation of neutrophil abscesses, a hallmark of antibacterial immunity. Activation of Mrgpra2 by defensin triggered neutrophil release of IL-1β and CXCL2 which are vital for proper amplification and propagation of the antibacterial immune response. This study demonstrated the importance of epithelial-neutrophil signaling via the defensin-Mrgpra2 axis in maintaining healthy skin ecology and promoting antibacterial host defense."



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