Immune surveillance in the skin: mechanisms and clinical consequences.

Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Institutes of Medicine, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Nature reviews. Immunology (Impact Factor: 33.84). 04/2004; 4(3):211-22. DOI: 10.1038/nri1310
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The skin, as the primary interface between the body and the environment, provides the first line of defence against a broad array of microbial pathogens and trauma. In addition to its properties as a physical barrier, the skin has many active defence mechanisms. In this review, we discuss the interaction between the innate and adaptive immune systems in the skin as a model for immune function at epithelial-cell interfaces with the environment. How these mechanisms account for the robust nature of cutaneous immune surveillance and how their dysregulation drives the pathogenesis of inflammatory skin disorders and skin-based tumours are the subjects of this review.

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