The CBRC is a general research institute for advanced research and development in the field of dermatology established by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Shiseido has been working with the CBRC since 1989, conducting joint research on skin immunity for over 30 years.
The researchers focused its research on Langerhans cells, dendritic cells made in the bone marrow that exist to form a network in the epidermis, that were discovered in 1886 by medical scientist Paul Langerhans.
In 1993, the Japanese cosmetics company made a landmark discovery by scientifically proving the skin and the nervous system were closely related, mediated by the Langerhans cells.
This discovery led to the establishment of a new field of skin physiology called the Neuro-Immuno-Cutaneous-Endocrine (NICE) theory.
It was this finding that drove the company’s motivation to focus its research on skin immunity.
In 2007, Shiseido identified a mechanism of skin disorders, which led to its research into Langerhans cell and skin protection.
In 2014, Shiseido furthered the research into Langerhans cells and developed ingredients that could influence and restore its self-protection function and heighten skin immunity.
In its latest research, Shiseido and CRBC aimed to clarify part of the age-related decrease mechanism of Langerhans cells in the skin, which have previously been unknown.
The researchers collected Langerhans cell progenitors (LC progenitor) from the chest of 20 women aged 16 to 28 and 21 women aged 53 to 74.
The LC progenitors were analysed using multiple immunostaining, a method of dyeing multiple target factors with different fluorescent colours in the same sample.
The experiment confirmed that the number of Langerhans cells and LC progenitor in the skin decreased significantly in the aged skin.
Additionally, the researchers observed that reduced expression of CXCL14, a factor that attracts LC progenitor cells to the epidermis, also decreased with age.
This led them to believe that reduced production CXCL14 causes a decrease in mature Langerhans cells.
In order to study this further, the researchers used skin cultures to study the migration of LC progenitors using LC progenitor-like cells, knowns as THP-1.
Using anti-CXCL14 antibodies, the researchers were able to suppress the action of CXCL14 and reduce the levels of LC progenitor-like cells.
On the other hand, when CXCL14 was added onto aged skin, the LC progenitor-like cells levels improved significantly.
Important discovery for skin immunity
Overall, the study suggested that maintaining the function of the LC progenitor cell attractant CXCL14 and maintaining the ability of LC progenitor cells to supply the epidermis is important for the maintenance of mature Langerhans cells in the epidermis.
Shiseido said: “With this discovery, we aim to develop new skin care technology to keep the skin youthful and beautiful by preventing the decrease of Langerhans cells due to ageing, enhancing the vitality of the skin and drawing out the original power of the skin.”
Source: Journal of Investigative Dermatology
“Langerhans cells suppress CD8+ T cells in situ during mucocutaneous acute graft-versus host disease”
Authors: Noriko Kubota, et al.