Tissue resident memory T cells (Trm) form in the skin in vitiligo and persist to maintain disease, as white spots often recur rapidly after discontinuing therapy. We and others have recently described melanocyte-specific autoreactive Trm in vitiligo lesions. Here, we characterize the functional relationship between Trm and recirculating memory T cells (Tcm) in our vitiligo mouse model. We found that both Trm and Tcm sensed autoantigen in the skin long after stabilization of disease, producing IFN-γ, CXCL9, and CXCL10. Blockade of Tcm recruitment to the skin with FTY720 or depletion of Tcm with low-dose Thy1.1 antibody reversed disease, indicating that Trm cooperate with Tcm to maintain disease. Taken together, our data provide characterization of skin memory T cells in vitiligo, demonstrate that Trm and Tcm work together during disease, and indicate that targeting their survival or function may provide novel, durable treatment options for patients.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.