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Mediators of Capillary-to-Venule Conversion in the Chronic Inflammatory Skin Disease Psoriasis

      Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by epidermal hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis, immune cell infiltration and vascular remodeling. Despite the emerging recognition of vascular normalization as a potential strategy for managing psoriasis, an in-depth delineation of the remodeled dermal vasculature has been missing. In this study, we exploited 5′ single-cell RNA sequencing to investigate the transcriptomic alterations in different subpopulations of blood vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells directly isolated from psoriatic and healthy human skin. Individual subtypes of endothelial cells underwent specific molecular repatterning associated with cell adhesion and extracellular matrix organization. Blood capillaries, in particular, showed upregulation of the melanoma cell adhesion molecule as well as its binding partners and adopted postcapillary venule‒like characteristics during chronic inflammation that are more permissive to leukocyte transmigration. We also identified psoriasis-specific interactions between cis-regulatory enhancers and promoters for each endothelial cell subtype, revealing the dysregulated gene regulatory networks in psoriasis. Together, our results provide more insights into the specific transcriptional responses and epigenetic signatures of endothelial cells lining different vessel compartments in chronic skin inflammation.

      Abbreviations:

      Art (arteriole), BEC (blood vascular endothelial cell), Cap (capillary), Col (lymphatic collector), CRE (cis-regulatory element), EC (endothelial cell), ECM (extracellular matrix), LEC (lymphatic endothelial cell), MCAM (melanoma cell adhesion molecule), MHC II (major histocompatibility complex class II), PCV (postcapillary venule), PreCol (lymphatic precollector), scRNA-seq (single-cell RNA sequencing)
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