Dysregulated skin barrier function in Tmem79 mutant mice promotes IL-17A-dependent spontaneous skin and lung inflammation

Sean P Saunders, Achilleas Floudas, Tara Moran, Ciara M Byrne, Michael D Rooney, Caoimhe M R Fahy, Joan A Geoghegan, Yoichiro Iwakura, Padraic G Fallon, Christian Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with a dysregulation of the skin barrier and may predispose to the development of secondary allergic conditions, such as asthma. Tmem79ma/ma mice harbor mutations in the gene encoding Transmembrane Protein 79 (or Mattrin), which have previously been associated with AD. As a result of the Tmem79 gene mutation, these mice have a defective skin barrier and develop spontaneous skin inflammation. In this study Tmem79ma/ma mice were assessed for the underlying immunological response in the development of spontaneous skin and lung inflammation.

METHODS: Development of spontaneous skin and lung inflammation in Tmem79ma/ma mice was analysed. We further investigated susceptibility to cutaneous Staphylococcus aureus infection. Tmem79ma/ma were crossed to IL-17A-deficient mice to address the contribution of IL-17A to spontaneous skin and lung disease.

RESULTS: Tmem79ma/ma mice developed IL-17A-dependent spontaneous AD-like inflammation, and were refractory to S. aureus infection. Mutant mice progressed to airway inflammation subsequent to the occurrence of dermatitis. The progression from skin to lung disease is dependent on adaptive immunity and is facilitated by cutaneous expansion of Th17 and TCRγδ T cells.

CONCLUSION: Mice lacking Tmem79/Mattrin expression have a defective skin barrier. In adulthood, these mice develop dermatitis with secondary progression to lung inflammation. The development of skin and lung inflammation is IL-17A-dependent and mediated by TCRγδ T cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3216-3227
Issue number12
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


  • Tmem79
  • cutaneous inflammation
  • interleukin-17A
  • lung inflammation
  • skin barrier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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