Identification and Characterization of Skin-Resident Memory T cells in Patients with Melanoma-Associated Vitiligo
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Metastatic melanoma patients who develop melanoma-associated vitiligo, an autoimmune cutaneous side effect after receiving immunotherapy, have better overall survival than those who do not develop vitiligo. The objective of this study is to determine the tumor-specific memory T cell responses in the skin, tumor and blood of melanoma patients with vitiligo. Matched melanoma tumor, distant vitiligo-affected skin, and blood were collected and sorted for T cells to perform paralleled single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) and single-cell TCR sequencing (scTCR-seq) on the day of tissue collection. The transcriptional analysis identified three resident memory T (TRM) cell subsets which were shared between tumors and vitiligo-affected skin. scRNA-seq identified CD8+ T-cell clonotypes in tumors that co-existed as TRM in skin and as effector memory T (TEM) cells in blood. This study revealed that long-term melanoma survivors maintained memory T cell responses as broadly-distributed TRM and TEM compartments.