Functions of skin-resident γδ T cells.
The murine epidermis contains resident T cells that express a canonical γδ TCR and arise from fetal thymic precursors. These cells are termed dendritic epidermal T cells (DETC) and use a TCR that is restricted to the skin in adult animals. DETC produce low levels of cytokines and growth factors that contribute to epidermal homeostasis. Upon activation, DETC can secrete large amounts of inflammatory molecules which participate in the communication between DETC, neighboring keratinocytes and langerhans cells. Chemokines produced by DETC may recruit inflammatory cells to the epidermis. In addition, cell-cell mediated immune responses also appear important for epidermal-T cell communication. Information is provided which supports a crucial role for DETC in inflammation, wound healing, and tumor surveillance.
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