Researchers Demonstrate for the First Time that the Immune System influences the Skin Microbiome
August 27, 2013
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrate for the first time that the immune system influences the skin microbiome. A new study found that the skin microbiome–a collection of microorganisms inhabiting the human body–is governed, at least in part, by an ancient branch of the immune system called complement. In turn, it appears microbes on the skin tweak the complement system, as well as immune surveillance of the skin. They found that complement may, in part, be responsible for maintaining a diverse set of microbes on our skin and keeping our skin healthy, which could play a role in a host of skin diseases. Penn researchers Elizabeth Grice, PhD, assistant professor of Dermatology, and John Lambris, PhD, the Dr. Ralph and Sallie Weaver Professor of Research Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, published their findings, "Complement modulates the cutaneous microbiome and inflammatory milieu" in the August 26 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Link to Office of Communications news release.