Various innate-like T cell subsets preferentially reside in specific epithelial tissues as the first line of defense. However, mechanisms regulating their tissue-specific development are poorly understood. Using the prototypical skin intraepithelial γδT cells (sIELs) as a model, we show in this study that a TCR-mediated selection plays an important role in promoting acquisition of a specific skin-homing property by fetal thymic sIEL precursors for their epidermal location, and the skinhoming potential is intrinsically programmed even before the selection. In addition, once localized in the skin, the sIEL precursors develop into sIELs without the requirement of further TCR-ligand interaction. These studies reveal that development of the tissuespecific lymphocytes is a hard-wired process that targets them to specific tissues for proper functions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy