Successful wound healing is an essential and well-controlled process, but the exact types of cell that are involved in this complex system remains unclear. In 26 April Science Julie Jameson and colleagues from The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, show that resident T cell receptor-bearing dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs) have a role in accelerating wound repair.

Jameson et al. performed wound-healing studies on mouse ear skin and observed that in the absence of wild-type DETCs the mice developed defects in keratinocyte proliferation and tissue reepithelialization. In addition, in vitro skin organ culture studies demonstrated that adding DETCs or recombinant keratinocyte growth factors restored normal wound healing in γδ DETC-deficient skin.

"Future studies of epithelial diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and wound healing will need to consider the role of intraepithelial γδT cells in disease progression and tissue repair, as well as in design of...

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