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Science. 2002 Mar 22;295(5563):2255-8.

Adaptive immune response of Vgamma2Vdelta2+ T cells during mycobacterial infections.

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  • 1Tuberculosis Research Unit, Division of Viral Pathogenesis, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


To examine the role of T cell receptor (TCR) in gammadelta T cells in adaptive immunity, a macaque model was used to follow Vgamma2Vdelta2+ T cell responses to mycobacterial infections. These phosphoantigen-specific gammadelta T cells displayed major expansion during Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infection and a clear memory-type response after BCG reinfection. Primary and recall expansions of Vgamma2Vdelta2+ T cells were also seen during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of naive and BCG-vaccinated macaques, respectively. This capacity to rapidly expand coincided with a clearance of BCG bacteremia and immunity to fatal tuberculosis in BCG-vaccinated macaques. Thus, Vgamma2Vdelta2+ T cells may contribute to adaptive immunity to mycobacterial infections.

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