Dysregulated CD38 Expression in Blood and Skin Immune Cells of Patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa

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Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a multifactorial, inflammatory skin disease. Increased systemic inflammatory comorbidities and serum cytokines highlight systemic inflammation as a feature of HS. However, the specific immune cell subsets contributing to systemic and cutaneous inflammation have not been resolved. Here, we generated whole-blood immunomes by mass cytometry. We performed a meta-analysis of RNA-seq data, immunohistochemistry, and imaging mass cytometry to characterize the immunological landscape of skin lesions and perilesions from patients with HS. Blood from patients with HS exhibited lower frequencies of natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and classical (CD14+CD16-) and nonclassical (CD14-CD16+) monocytes, as well as higher frequencies of Th17 cells and intermediate (CD14+CD16+) monocytes than blood from healthy controls. Classical and intermediate monocytes from patients with HS had increased expression of skin-homing chemokine receptors. Furthermore, we identified a CD38+ intermediate monocyte subpopulation that was more abundant in the immunome of blood from patients with HS. Meta-analysis of RNA-seq data found higher CD38 expression in lesional HS skin than in perilesional skin, and markers of classical monocyte infiltration. Imaging mass cytometry showed that CD38+ classical monocytes and CD38+ monocyte-derived macrophages were more abundant in lesional HS skin. Overall, we report targeting CD38 may be worth pursuing in clinical trials.

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