Whereas the vast majority of T cells express a T-cell receptor (TCR) composed of alphabeta heterodimers, a smaller population expresses a gammadelta TCR. In contrast to alphabeta T cells, gammadelta T cells show less TCR diversity, are particularly enriched at epithelial surfaces and appear to respond to self-molecules that signal potential danger or cellular stress. In addition, various subsets of gammadelta T cells have shown antitumor and immunoregulatory activities. This review considers what has been discovered about the important cutaneous functions of gammadelta T cells through the study of mutant mice and offers perspectives on the roles of gammadelta T cells in human disease.
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