Protocol to Induce Follicular T Helper Cells, Germinal Centers, and Skin Lesions in Mouse Models for Skin Blistering Diseases

Farbod Bahreini, Markus Niebuhr, Julia Belde, Katja Bieber, Jürgen Westermann, Kathrin Kalies*

*Corresponding author for this work

Abstract

Autoreactive T cells in autoantibody-mediated autoimmune diseases can be divided into two major subsets: (i) follicular T helper cells (Tfh) that provide T cell help in germinal centers (GC) and (ii) effector T (Teff) cells that immigrate into peripheral tissue sites such as the skin and mediate local inflammation. To study the sequence of events leading to the loss of tolerance in autoantibody-mediated autoimmune diseases it is required to investigate both T cell subsets simultaneously. This approach is hampered mainly because the appearance of skin inflammation in mouse models is a random process, which makes it difficult to define the location of inflammation at the right time point. To overcome this problem, we developed a scratching technique for ear skins that leads to the establishment of chronic autoimmune wounds in the mouse model for the pemphigoid-like disease epidermolysis bullosa acquisita. By defining the exact place where the skin wounds should form, this protocol enables a detailed analysis of skin-immigrating Teff cells. Of note, this protocol induces GC in draining lymph nodes in parallel so that Tfh cells in GC can be investigated concurrently. This protocol is not restricted to T cells and can be used for any other skin-immigrating inflammatory cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4414
JournalBio-protocol
Volume12
Issue number10
ISSN2331-8325
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20.05.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 204-05 Immunology
  • 205-33 Anatomy

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