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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A skin-selective homing mechanism for human immune surveillance T cells.

Effective immune surveillance is essential for maintaining protection and homeostasis of peripheral tissues. However, mechanisms controlling memory T cell migration to peripheral tissues such as the skin are poorly understood. Here, we show that the majority of human T cells in healthy skin express the chemokine receptor CCR8 and respond to its selective ligand I-309/CCL1. These CCR8(+) T cells are absent in small intestine and colon tissue, and are extremely rare in peripheral blood, suggesting healthy skin as their physiological target site. Cutaneous CCR8(+) T cells are preactivated and secrete proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma, but lack markers of cytolytic T cells. Secretion of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and transforming growth factor-beta was low to undetectable, arguing against a strict association of CCR8 expression with either T helper cell 2 or regulatory T cell subsets. Potential precursors of skin surveillance T cells in peripheral blood may correspond to the minor subset of CCR8(+)CD25(-) T cells. Importantly, CCL1 is constitutively expressed at strategic cutaneous locations, including dermal microvessels and epidermal antigen-presenting cells. For the first time, these findings define a chemokine system for homeostatic T cell traffic in normal human skin.[1]


  1. A skin-selective homing mechanism for human immune surveillance T cells. Schaerli, P., Ebert, L., Willimann, K., Blaser, A., Roos, R.S., Loetscher, P., Moser, B. J. Exp. Med. (2004) [Pubmed]
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