Inflammatory memory sensitizes skin epithelial stem cells to tissue damage.

Naik S*, Larsen SB*, Gomez N, Alaverdyan K, Sendoel A, Polak L, Kulukian A, Chai S and Fuchs E. Inflammatory memory sensitizes skin epithelial stem cells to tissue damage. *Equal author contribution. Corresponding author. Nature. 550(7677): 475-480 Oct 2017

Here we report that acute inflammation trains epithelial stem cells to respond faster to subsequent stressors. This work is the first to identify inflammatory memory in a non-immune cells and has significant implications for our understanding of inflammatory diseases and cancer.

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Tregs Expand the Skin Stem Cell Niche.

Horsley V and Naik S. Tregs Expand the Skin Stem Cell Niche. Developmental Cell. 41(5):455-456 June, 2017

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are emerging as an essential stem cell niche component that promotes wound repair in adipose, muscle, and lung tissues. Recently in Cell, Ali et al. (2017) report that skin resident Tregs facilitate the proliferation and differentiation of hair follicle stem cells through Notch signaling.

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Impaired signaling between epidermal and dendritic epidermal T cells slows wound repair in aging

Keyes B*, Liu S*, Asare A, Naik S, LevorseJ, Nikolova M, Pasoli A and Fuchs E. Impaired signaling between epidermal and dendritic epidermal T cells slows wound repair in aging. Cell.167(5)1323-1338 Nov, 2016.

Aged skin heals wounds poorly, increasing susceptibility to infections. Restoring homeostasis after wounding requires the coordinated actions of epidermal and immune cells. Here we find that both intrinsic defects and communication with immune cells are impaired in aged keratinocytes, diminishing their efficiency in restoring the skin barrier after wounding.

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Langerhans Cells suppress skin recruitment of CD49a+ NK cells during inflammation

Scholz F, Naik S, Sutterwala, F, and Kaplan, DH. Langerhans Cells suppress skin recruitment of CD49a+ NK cells during inflammation. Journal of Immunology 1:195(5):2335-42 Jul, 2015

These data reveal a novel function for LC in the regulation of this recently described subset of skin tropic NK cells.

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Commensal-dendritic cell interactions specifies a unique protective skin immune signature.

Naik S*, Bouladoux N*, Linehan J, Han SJ, Harrison OJ, Wilhelm C, Conlan S, Himmelfarb S, Byrd A, Deming C, Quinones M, Brenchley JM, Kong H, Tussiwand R, Murphy KM, Merad M, Segre JA and Belkaid Y. Commensal-dendritic cell interactions specifies a unique protective skin immune signature. Nature. 520(7545): 104-108 April 2015.

Here we show that defined commensals dominantly affect skin immunity and identify the cellular mediators involved in this specification.This interaction may represent an evolutionary means by which the skin immune system uses fluctuating commensal signals to calibrate barrier immunity and provide heterologous protection against invasive pathogens. These findings reveal that the skin immune landscape is a highly dynamic environment that can be rapidly and specifically remodelled by encounters with defined commensals, findings that have profound implications for our understanding of tissue-specific immunity and pathologies.

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