The Intraepithelial T Cell Response to NKG2D-Ligands Links Lymphoid Stress Surveillance to Atopy

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Abstract

Epithelial cells respond to physicochemical damage with up-regulation of major histocompatibility complex-like ligands that can activate the cytolytic potential of neighboring intraepithelial T cells by binding the activating receptor, NKG2D. The systemic implications of this lymphoid stress-surveillance response, however, are unknown. We found that antigens encountered at the same time as cutaneous epithelial stress induced strong primary and secondary systemic, T helper 2 (TH2)-associated atopic responses in mice. These responses required NKG2D-dependent communication between dysregulated epithelial cells and tissue-associated lymphoid cells. These data are germane to uncertainty over the afferent induction of TH2 responses and provide a molecular framework for considering atopy as an important component of the response to tissue damage and carcinogenesis.

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