Daniel Kaplan, MD, PhD

  • Director of the Cutaneous Biology Research Core
  • Professor of Dermatology and Immunology

Education & Training

  • Graduate School – Washington University – PhD
  • Medical School – Washington University – MD
  • Residency – Yale University – Dermatology
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship – Yale University

Research Grants

NIH Grants:  R01, K08

Research Summary

Dr. Kaplan is a practicing Dermatologist and leads an active basic research laboratory that focuses on the mechanisms that drive skin inflammation.  As part of that, work his laboratory develops novel tools that allow him to examine the specific functions of skin-resident immune cells.  The lab-engineered mice that selectively lack Langerhans cells.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, these cells were not required for many skin immune responses but rather suppressed cutaneous immune responses leading to a major shift in the understanding of these cells.  The lab also developed a novel skin infection model using C. albicans that allow for detailed interrogation of skin immune responses.  Using this model, Langerhans cells were required for Th17 responses and dendritic cells in the dermis were required for Th1 responses.  Unexpectedly, Th17 responses provided skin protection while Th1 responses provided systemic protection thus revealing a compartmentalization of adaptive responses.  The lab also examines the innate immune response to C. albicans revealing that pain-sensing nerves in the skin directly recognize C. albicans and are required for a cascade of inflammatory events that mediate host defense. This finding is highly significant as it demonstrates that nerves in the skin are major modulators of immune responses, a very novel finding.  The lab has also found that keratinocytes determine whether immune cells can persist in the skin through a novel mechanism of transactivation of TGFb.  Currently, the lab is focused on how individual subsets of cutaneous immune cells work in concert to direct immune responses, how non-immune cells such as nerves and keratinocytes also play critical roles in directing skin immunity, and how each of these pathways can be therapeutically targeted to modify disease processes.

Representative Publications

  1. Cohen JA, Edwards TN, Liu AW, Hirai T, Ritter-Jones M, Li Y, Zhang S, Ho, J, Davis BM, Albers KM, Kaplan DH. Cutaneous TRPV1+ neurons trigger protective Innate Type-17 anticipatory immunity. Cell. In press.
  2. Hirai T, Zenke Y, Yang Y, Bartholin L, Beura LK, Masopust D, Kaplan DH. Keratinocyte-Mediated Activation of the Cytokine TGF-β Maintains Skin Recirculating Memory CD8(+) T Cells. Immunity. 2019 May 21;50(5):1249-1261.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.03.002. Epub 2019 Apr 2. PubMed PMID: 30952606; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6531326.
  3. Johndrow CT, Goldberg MF, Johnson AJ, Ng TW, Kunnath-Velayudhan S, Lauvau G, Kaplan DH, Gossel GH, Kadolsky UD, Yates AJ, Chan J, Jacobs WR Jr, Porcelli SA. Suppression of Th1 Priming by TLR2 Agonists during Cutaneous Immunization Is Mediated by Recruited CCR2(+) Monocytes. J Immunol. 2018 Nov 19. pii: ji1801185. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1801185. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30455402.
  4. Dainichi T, Kitoh A, Otsuka A, Nakajima S, Nomura T, Kaplan DH, Kabashima K. The epithelial immune microenvironment (EIME) in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Nat Immunol. 2018 Dec;19(12):1286-1298. doi: 10.1038/s41590-018-0256-2. Epub 2018 Nov 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 30446754.
  5. Snyder LM, Chiang MC, Loeza-Alcocer E, Omori Y, Hachisuka J, Sheahan TD, Gale JR, Adelman PC, Sypek EI, Fulton SA, Friedman RL, Wright MC, Duque MG, Lee YS, Hu Z, Huang H, Cai X, Meerschaert KA, Nagarajan V, Hirai T, Scherrer G, Kaplan DH, Porreca F, Davis BM, Gold MS, Koerber HR, Ross SE. Kappa Opioid Receptor Distribution and Function in Primary Afferents. Neuron. 2018 Sep 19;99(6):1274-1288.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.08.044. PubMed PMID: 30236284.
  6. Shipman WD, Chyou S, Ramanathan A, Izmirly PM, Sharma S, Pannellini T, Dasoveanu DC, Qing X, Magro CM, Granstein RD, Lowes MA, Pamer EG, Kaplan DH, Salmon JE, Mehrara BJ, Young JW, Clancy RM, Blobel CP, Lu TT. A protective Langerhans cell-keratinocyte axis that is dysfunctional in photosensitivity. Sci Transl Med. 2018 Aug 15;10(454). pii: eaap9527. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aap9527. PubMed PMID: 30111646.
  7. Kashem SW, Kaplan DH. Isolation of Murine Skin Resident and Migratory Dendritic Cells via Enzymatic Digestion. Curr Protoc Immunol. 2018 Apr;121(1):e45. doi: 10.1002/cpim.45. PubMed PMID: 30040218; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6060630.
  8. Tolar J, Bauer JW, Kaplan DH, Leachman SA, McGrath JA, Paller AS, Griffith-Bauer KA, Stemwedel CE, Kulesz-Martin MF. Montagna Symposium 2017-Precision Dermatology: Next Generation Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment. J Invest Dermatol. 2018 Jun;138(6):1243-1248. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2018.02.039. Epub 2018 May 2. PubMed PMID: 29550416; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5970097.
  9. Santos E Sousa P, Ciré S, Conlan T, Jardine L, Tkacz C, Ferrer IR, Lomas C, Ward S, West H, Dertschnig S, Blobner S, Means TK, Henderson S, Kaplan DH, Collin M, Plagnol V, Bennett CL, Chakraverty R. Peripheral tissues reprogram CD8+ T cells for pathogenicity during graft-versus-host disease. JCI Insight. 2018 Mar 8;3(5). pii: 97011. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.97011. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29515032; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5922296.
  10. Yao C, Kaplan DH. Langerhans Cells Transfer Targeted Antigen to Dermal Dendritic Cells and Acquire Major Histocompatibility Complex II In Vivo. J Invest Dermatol. 2018 Jul;138(7):1665-1668. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2018.02.005. Epub 2018 Feb 21. PubMed PMID: 29474944; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6019560.
  11. Kitashima DY, Kobayashi T, Woodring T, Idouchi K, Doebel T, Voisin B, Adachi T, Ouchi T, Takahashi H, Nishifuji K, Kaplan DH, Clausen BE, Amagai M, Nagao K. Langerhans Cells Prevent Autoimmunity via Expansion of Keratinocyte Antigen-Specific Regulatory T Cells. EBioMedicine. 2018 Jan;27:293-303. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.12.022. Epub 2017 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 29307572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5828466.
  12. Kaplan DH. Ontogeny and function of murine epidermal Langerhans cells. Na Immunol. 2017 Sep 19;18(10):1068-1075. doi: 10.1038/ni.3815. Review. PubMed PMID: 28926543.