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Tissue-resident memory t cells in skin diseases: A systematic review

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In health, the non-recirculating nature and long-term persistence of tissue-resident memory T cells (TRMs) in tissues protects against invading pathogens. In disease, pathogenic TRMs contribute to the recurring traits of many skin diseases. We aimed to conduct a systematic literature review on the current understanding of the role of TRMs in skin diseases and identify gaps as well as future research paths. EMBASE, PubMed, SCOPUS, Web of Science, Clinicaltrials.gov and WHO Trials Registry were searched systematically for relevant studies from their inception to October 2020. Included studies were reviewed independently by two authors. This study was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA-S guidelines. This protocol was registered with the PROSPERO database (ref: CRD42020206416). We identified 96 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. TRMs have mostly been investigated in murine skin and in relation to infectious skin diseases. Pathogenic TRMs have been characterized in various skin diseases including psoriasis, vitiligo and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Studies are needed to discover biomarkers that may delineate TRMs poised for pathogenic activity in skin diseases and establish to which extent TRMs are contingent on the local skin microenvironment. Additionally, future studies may investigate the effects of current treatments on the persistence of pathogenic TRMs in human skin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9004
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • Inflammation, Skin disease, Systematic review, T cells, Tissue-resident memory T cells, TRM, TRMs

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