Expression of CD200 on epithelial cells of the murine hair follicle: A role in tissue-specific immune tolerance?

Michael D. Rosenblum, Edit B. Olasz, Kim B. Yancey, Jeffrey E. Woodliff, Zelmira Lazarova, Kimberly A. Gerber, Robert L. Truitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


CD200 (OX-2) is a transmembrane glycoprotein that transmits an immunoregulatory signal through the CD200 receptor (CD200R) to attenuate inflammatory reactions and promote immune tolerance. CD200 expression in the skin has not been described previously. We now report that freshly isolated cells of the murine epidermis contain a subpopulation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-negative, CD3-negative keratinocytes that are CD200-positive. CD200 expression was accentuated in keratinocytes comprising the outer root sheath of the murine hair follicle (HF). When syngeneic skin grafts were exchanged between gender-matched wild-type (WT) and CD200-deficient C57BL/6 mice, significant perifollicular and intrafollicular inflammation was observed, eventually leading to the destruction of virtually all HF (alopecia) without significant loss of the CD200-negative grafts. Minimal and transient inflammation was observed in WT grafts, which persisted long term with hair. There was a 2-fold increase in graft-infiltrating T cells in CD200-deficient skin at 14 d. Alopecia and skin lesions were induced in CD200-deficient hosts by adoptive transfer of splenocytes from WT mice previously grafted with CD200-negative skin, but not from mice grafted with WT skin. Collectively, these results suggest that the expression of CD200 in follicular epithelium attenuates inflammatory reactions and may play a role in maintaining immune tolerance to HF-associated autoantigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-887
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Alopecia
  • CD200
  • Hair follicle
  • Inflammation
  • Keratinocyte
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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