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J Immunol. 2004 Aug 1;173(3):1587-95.

Gamma delta T cell regulation of IFN-gamma production by central nervous system-infiltrating encephalitogenic T cells: correlation with recovery from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

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  • 1Blood Research Institute, Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA.


Interferon-gamma has been shown to be important for the resolution of inflammation associated with CNS autoimmunity. Because one of the roles of gamma delta T cells is the regulation of inflammation, we asked whether gamma delta T cells were able to regulate CNS inflammation using the autoimmune disease mouse model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We show that the presence of gamma delta T cells was needed to promote the production of IFN-gamma by both CD4 and CD8 T cells in the CNS before the onset of EAE. This regulation was shown to be independent of the ability of gamma delta T cells to produce IFN-gamma, and was specific to T cells in the CNS, as no alterations in IFN-gamma production were detectable in gamma delta T cell-deficient mice in the spleen and lymph nodes of mice with EAE or following immunization. Analysis of TCR gamma delta gene usage in the CNS showed that the only TCR delta V gene families present in the CNS before EAE onset are from the DV7s6 and DV105s1 gene families. We also show that the primary IFN-gamma-producing cells in the CNS are the encephalitogenic T cells, and that gamma delta T cell-deficient mice are unable to resolve EAE disease symptoms like control mice, thus exhibiting a long-term chronic disease course similar to that observed in IFN-gamma-deficient mice. These data suggest that CNS resident gamma delta T cells promote the production of IFN-gamma by encephalitogenic T cells in the CNS, which is ultimately required for the recovery from EAE.

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