Differential cell composition and split epidermal differentiation in human palm, sole, and hip skin

Julie Wiedemann, Allison C. Billi, Federico Bocci, Ghaidaa Kashgari, Enze Xing, Lam C. Tsoi, Leo Meller, William R. Swindell, Rachael Wasikowski, Xianying Xing, Feiyang Ma, Mehrnaz Gharaee-Kermani, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Paul W. Harms, Emanual Maverakis, Qing Nie, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Bogi Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Palmoplantar skin is structurally and functionally unique, but the transcriptional programs driving this specialization are unclear. Here, we use bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing of human palm, sole, and hip skin to describe the distinguishing characteristics of palmoplantar and non-palmoplantar skin while also uncovering differences between palmar and plantar sites. Our approach reveals an altered immune environment in palmoplantar skin, with downregulation of diverse immunological processes and decreased immune cell populations. Further, we identify specific fibroblast populations that appear to orchestrate key differences in cell-cell communication in palm, sole, and hip. Dedicated keratinocyte analysis highlights major differences in basal cell fraction among the three sites and demonstrates the existence of two spinous keratinocyte populations constituting parallel, site-selective epidermal differentiation trajectories. In summary, this deep characterization of highly adapted palmoplantar skin contributes key insights into the fundamental biology of human skin and provides a valuable data resource for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111994
JournalCell Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2023


  • CP: Cell biology
  • epidermal differentation
  • fibroblast
  • human epidermis
  • keratinocyte
  • palm
  • palmoplantar skin
  • single-cell RNA sequencing
  • skin
  • sole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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