Dupilumab-Associated Head and Neck Dermatitis Shows a Pronounced Type 22 Immune Signature Mediated by Oligoclonally Expanded T Cells

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Nature Communications


Dupilumab, an IL4R-blocking antibody, has shown clinical efficacy for atopic dermatitis (AD) treatment. In addition to conjunctivitis/blepharitis, the de novo appearance of head/neck dermatitis is now recognized as a distinct side effect, occurring in up to 10% of patients. Histopathological features distinct from AD suggest a drug effect, but exact underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We profiled punch biopsies from dupilumab-associated head and neck dermatitis (DAHND) by using single-cell RNA sequencing and compared data with untreated AD and healthy control skin. We show that dupilumab treatment was accompanied by normalization of IL-4/IL-13 downstream activity markers such as CCL13, CCL17, CCL18 and CCL26. By contrast, we found strong increases in type 22-associated markers (IL22, AHR) especially in oligoclonally expanded T cells, accompanied by enhanced keratinocyte activation and IL-22 receptor upregulation. Taken together, we demonstrate that dupilumab effectively dampens conventional type 2 inflammation in DAHND lesions, with concomitant hyperactivation of IL22-associated responses.