Skin effector memory T cells do not recirculate and provide immune protection in alemtuzumab-treated CTCL patients.

Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Science translational medicine (Impact Factor: 14.41). 01/2012; 4(117):117ra7. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a cancer of skin-homing T cells with variants that include leukemic CTCL (L-CTCL), a malignancy of central memory T cells (T(CM)), and mycosis fungoides (MF), a malignancy of skin resident effector memory T cells (T(EM)). We report that low-dose alemtuzumab (αCD52) effectively treated patients with refractory L-CTCL but not MF. Alemtuzumab depleted all T cells in blood and depleted both benign and malignant T(CM) from skin, but a diverse population of skin resident T(EM) remained in skin after therapy. T cell depletion with alemtuzumab required the presence of neutrophils, a cell type frequent in blood but rare in normal skin. These data suggest that T(CM) were depleted because they recirculate between the blood and the skin, whereas skin resident T(EM) were spared because they are sessile and non-recirculating. After alemtuzumab treatment, skin T cells produced lower amounts of interleukin-4 and higher amounts of interferon-γ. Moreover, there was a marked lack of infections in alemtuzumab-treated L-CTCL patients despite the complete absence of T cells in the blood, suggesting that skin resident T(EM) can protect the skin from pathogens even in the absence of T cell recruitment from the circulation. Together, these data suggest that alemtuzumab may treat refractory L-CTCL without severely compromising the immune response to infection by depleting circulating T(CM) but sparing the skin resident T(EM) that provide local immune protection of the skin.

  • 04/2014; 150(7). DOI:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.10099
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    ABSTRACT: The skin of an adult human contains about 20 billion memory T cells. Epithelial barrier tissues are infiltrated by a combination of resident and recirculating T cells in mice, but the relative proportions and functional activities of resident versus recirculating T cells have not been evaluated in human skin. We discriminated resident from recirculating T cells in human-engrafted mice and lymphoma patients using alemtuzumab, a medication that depletes recirculating T cells from skin, and then analyzed these T cell populations in healthy human skin. All nonrecirculating resident memory T cells (TRM) expressed CD69, but most were CD4(+), CD103(-), and located in the dermis, in contrast to studies in mice. Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) CD103(+) TRM were enriched in the epidermis, had potent effector functions, and had a limited proliferative capacity compared to CD103(-) TRM. TRM of both types had more potent effector functions than recirculating T cells. We observed two distinct populations of recirculating T cells, CCR7(+)/L-selectin(+) central memory T cells (TCM) and CCR7(+)/L-selectin(-) T cells, which we term migratory memory T cells (TMM). Circulating skin-tropic TMM were intermediate in cytokine production between TCM and effector memory T cells. In patients with cutaneous T cell lymphoma, malignant TCM and TMM induced distinct inflammatory skin lesions, and TMM were depleted more slowly from skin after alemtuzumab, suggesting that TMM may recirculate more slowly. In summary, human skin is protected by four functionally distinct populations of T cells, two resident and two recirculating, with differing territories of migration and distinct functional activities. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    Science translational medicine 03/2015; 7(279):279ra39. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3010302 · 14.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Resident memory T cells are non-recirculating memory T cells that persist long-term in epithelial barrier tissues, including the gastrointestinal tract, lung, skin, and reproductive tract. Resident memory T cells persist in the absence of antigens, have impressive effector functions, and provide rapid on-site immune protection against known pathogens in peripheral tissues. A fundamentally distinct gene expression program differentiates resident memory T cells from circulating T cells. Although these cells likely evolved to provide rapid immune protection against pathogens, autoreactive, aberrantly activated, and malignant resident memory cells contribute to numerous human inflammatory diseases including mycosis fungoides and psoriasis. This review will discuss both the science and medicine of resident memory T cells, exploring how these cells contribute to healthy immune function and discussing what is known about how these cells contribute to human inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    Science translational medicine 01/2015; 7(269):269rv1. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3010641 · 14.41 Impact Factor

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