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Nat Rev Immunol. 2017 Dec;17(12):733-745. doi: 10.1038/nri.2017.101. Epub 2017 Sep 18.

γδ T cells in homeostasis and host defence of epithelial barrier tissues.

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Department of Immunology & Microbiology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Epithelial surfaces line the body and provide a crucial interface between the body and the external environment. Tissue-resident epithelial γδ T cells represent a major T cell population in the epithelial tissues and are ideally positioned to carry out barrier surveillance and aid in tissue homeostasis and repair. In this Review, we focus on the intraepithelial γδ T cell compartment of the two largest epithelial tissues in the body - namely, the epidermis and the intestine - and provide a comprehensive overview of the crucial contributions of intraepithelial γδ T cells to tissue integrity and repair, host homeostasis and protection in the context of the symbiotic relationship with the microbiome and during pathogen clearance. Finally, we describe epithelium-specific butyrophilin-like molecules and briefly review their emerging role in selectively shaping and regulating epidermal and intestinal γδ T cell repertoires.

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