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Vitamin A helps gut T cells find their way in the dark

Once activated, some T cells home to distinct sites in the body, such as the intestine and inflamed skin. Research in mice shows that dendritic cells in the gut produce a derivative of vitamin A, retinoic acid, that gives T cells directions.

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Figure 1: Retinoic acid–induced acquisition of gut-homing molecules during T-cell activation.

Ann Thomson

Figure 2: T cells in the intestinal mucosa.

Reprinted with permission from Cell Press


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Johansson-Lindbom, B., Agace, W. Vitamin A helps gut T cells find their way in the dark. Nat Med 10, 1300–1301 (2004).

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