Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin condition affecting approximately 1% of the US population. HS skin lesions are highly inflammatory and characterized by a large immune infiltrate. While B cells and plasma cells comprise a major component of this immune milieu, the biology and the contribution of these cells in HS pathogenesis are unclear. We aimed to investigate the dynamics and microenvironmental interactions of B cells within cutaneous HS lesions. Combining histological analysis, single-cell RNA sequencing, and spatial transcriptomics profiling of HS lesions, we defined the tissue microenvironment relative to B cell activity within this disease. Our findings identified tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs) within HS lesions and described organized interactions among T cells, B cells, antigen-presenting cells, and skin stroma. We found evidence that B cells within HS TLSs actively underwent maturation, including participation in germinal center reactions and class switch recombination. Moreover, skin stroma and accumulating T cells were primed to support the formation of TLSs and facilitate B cell recruitment during HS. Our data definitively demonstrated the presence of TLSs in lesional HS skin and point to ongoing cutaneous B cell maturation through class switch recombination and affinity maturation during disease progression in this inflamed nonlymphoid tissue.
Margaret M. Lowe, Jarish N. Cohen, Madison I. Moss, Sean Clancy, James P. Adler, Ashley E. Yates, Haley B. Naik, Rashi Yadav, Mariela Pauli, Ian Taylor, Austin McKay, Hobart Harris, Esther Kim, Scott L. Hansen, Michael D. Rosenblum, Joshua M. Moreau