The murine epidermis harbors two immune cell lineages, Langerhans cells (LCs) and γδ T cells known as dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs). LCs develop from both early yolk sac (YS) progenitors and fetal liver monocytes before locally self-renewing in the adult. For DETCs, the mechanisms of homeostatic maintenance and their hematopoietic origin are largely unknown. Here, we exploited multicolor fate mapping systems to reveal that DETCs slowly turn over at steady state. Like for LCs, homeostatic maintenance of DETCs is achieved by clonal expansion of tissue-resident cells assembled in proliferative units. The same mechanism, albeit accelerated, facilitates DETC replenishment upon injury. Hematopoietic lineage tracing uncovered that DETCs are established independently of definitive hematopoietic stem cells and instead originate from YS hematopoiesis, again reminiscent of LCs. DETCs thus resemble LCs concerning their maintenance, replenishment mechanisms, and hematopoietic development, suggesting that the epidermal microenvironment exerts a lineage-independent influence on the initial seeding and homeostatic maintenance of its resident immune cells.
- Cell Lineage/immunology
- Embryo, Mammalian/cytology
- Hematopoiesis, Extramedullary/immunology
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells/cytology
- Mice, Transgenic
- Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta/genetics
- Yolk Sac/cytology