Skin is our primary interface with the environment, and T cells are crucial for orchestrating host immune responses against pathogenic microorganisms at this site. Effective skin immune responses require the generation of antigen-specific effector T cells, which home to cutaneous sites of injury or infection. Long-lasting immunity against future immune challenges is mediated by memory T cells. Among the memory T cells found in skin are both recirculating cells that transit between skin and blood and tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells, which remain in skin for long periods of time and mediate durable protective immunity. These TRM cells also appear to drive many inflammatory diseases of skin. Here, we consider how a better understanding of cutaneous T cell responses can aid in the development of effective new therapies for immune-mediated cutaneous diseases.
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A.W.H. is supported by a Career Development Award from the Dermatology Foundation. T.S.K. is supported by grants R01 AR065807, R01 AI127654 and R01 CA210372 from the US National Institutes of Health.
Nature Reviews Immunology thanks P. Scott and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Ho, A.W., Kupper, T.S. T cells and the skin: from protective immunity to inflammatory skin disorders. Nat Rev Immunol 19, 490–502 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-019-0162-3
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