The intestinal epithelium is the outermost cellular layer that separates the body from the gut lumen. The integrity of this protective mucosal barrier is crucial and maintained by specialized cells—intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL). Much research has been conducted on these cells and our overall understanding of them is increasing rapidly. In this review we focus on the TCRαβ+ subset of CD8αα IEL. We discuss recent studies that shed light on the development, ontogeny, maintenance, and functional characteristics of CD8αα IEL, and highlight yet unanswered questions for future studies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
KAH received funding from the National Institutes of Health ( R37 AI39560 ).
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd