Developmentally programmed early-age skin localization of iNKT cells supports local tissue development and homeostasis

Wei Bei Wang, Yang Ding Lin, Luming Zhao, Chang Liao, Yang Zhang, Micha Davila, Jasmine Sun, Yidong Chen, Na Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Skin is exposed to various environmental assaults and undergoes morphological changes immediately after birth. Proper localization and function of immune cells in the skin is crucial for protection and establishment of skin tissue homeostasis. Here we report the discovery of a developmentally programmed process that directs preferential localization of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells to the skin for early local homeostatic regulation. We show that iNKT cells are programmed predominantly with a CCR10+ skin-homing phenotype during thymic development in infant and young mice. Early skin localization of iNKT cells is critical for proper commensal bacterial colonization and tissue development. Mechanistically, skin iNKT cells provide a local source of transferrin that regulates iron metabolism in hair follicle progenitor cells and helps hair follicle development. These findings provide molecular insights into the establishment and physiological functions of iNKT cells in the skin during early life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-238
Number of pages14
JournalNature Immunology
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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