The role of the vasculature in inflammatory skin disorders is an exciting area of investigation. Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) play instrumental roles in maintaining the vascular barrier and control of blood flow. Furthermore, ECs contribute to a variety of immune responses, such as targeting immune cells to specific areas of vascular damage, infection, or foreign material. However, mechanisms through which ECs participate in immune-mediated responses remain to be fully explored. In this issue of the JCI, Li, Shao, et al. report on vascular endothelial glycocalyx destruction and the mechanisms through which EC dysfunction contributes to the well-characterized immune-mediated features of psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease. Here, we discuss the implications of these findings and highlight some risks and benefits of existing therapies designed to target immune cell trafficking in a variety of inflammatory conditions.
Kelly Z. Young, Olesya Plazyo, Johann E. Gudjonsson