Dendritic Epidermal T Cells Regulate Skin Homeostasis Through Local Production of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1

Nat Immunol. 2005 Jan;6(1):73-9. doi: 10.1038/ni1152. Epub 2004 Dec 12.


A fine balance between rates of proliferation and apoptosis in the skin provides a defensive barrier and a mechanism for tissue repair after damage. Vgamma3(+) dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs) are primary modulators of skin immune responses. Here we show that DETCs both produce and respond to insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) after T cell receptor stimulation. Mice deficient in DETCs had a notable increase in epidermal apoptosis that was abrogated by the addition of DETCs or IGF-1. Furthermore, DETC-deficient mice had reduced IGF-1 receptor activation at wound sites. These findings indicate critical functions for DETC-mediated IGF-1 production in regulating skin homeostasis and repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epidermis / immunology
  • Homeostasis / immunology*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1
  • Skin / injuries
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / physiology*
  • Wound Healing


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1