Allergic skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, are clinically characterized by severe itching and type 2 immunity-associated hypersensitivity to widely distributed allergens, including those derived from house dust mites (HDMs). Here we found that HDMs with cysteine protease activity directly activated peptidergic nociceptors, which are neuropeptide-producing nociceptive sensory neurons that express the ion channel TRPV1 and Tac1, the gene encoding the precursor for the neuropeptide substance P. Intravital imaging and genetic approaches indicated that HDM-activated nociceptors drive the development of allergic skin inflammation by inducing the degranulation of mast cells contiguous to such nociceptors, through the release of substance P and the activation of the cationic molecule receptor MRGPRB2 on mast cells. These data indicate that, after exposure to HDM allergens, activation of TRPV1+Tac1+ nociceptor–MRGPRB2+ mast cell sensory clusters represents a key early event in the development of allergic skin reactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy