The vast majority of CLA+ T cells are resident in normal skin

Rachael A. Clark, Benjamin Chong, Nina Mirchandani, Nooshin K. Brinster, Kei Ichi Yamanaka, Rebecca K. Dowgiert, Thomas S. Kupper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

530 Scopus citations


There are T cells within normal, noninflamed skin that most likely conduct immunosurveillance and are implicated in the development of psoriasis. We isolated T cells from normal human skin using both established and novel methods. Skin resident T cells expressed high levels of CLA, CCR4, and CCR6, and a subset expressed CCR8 and CXCR6. Skin T cells had a remarkably diverse TCR repertoire and were mostly Th1 memory effector cells with smaller subsets of central memory, Th2, and functional T regulatory cells. We isolated a surprising number of nonexpanded T cells from normal skin. To validate this finding, we counted T cells in sections of normal skin and determined that there are ∼1 × 106 T cells/cm2 normal skin and an estimated 2 × 1010 T cells in the entire skin surface, nearly twice the number of T cells in the circulation. Moreover, we estimate that 98% of CLA + elector memory T cells are resident in normal skin under resting conditions. These findings demonstrate that there is a large pool of memory T cells in normal skin that can initiate and perpetuate immune reactions in the absence of T cell recruitment from the blood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4431-4439
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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