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J Infect Dis. 2007 Mar 1;195(5):739-47. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

Selective expression of the V beta 14 T cell receptor on Leishmania guyanensis--specific CD8+ T cells during human infection.

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  • 1Immunologie des Leishmanioses, Institut Pasteur de la Guyane, Cayenne, French Guyana.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from subjects never exposed to Leishmania were stimulated with Leishmania guyanensis. We demonstrated that L. guyanensis-stimulated CD8(+) T cells produced interferon (IFN)- gamma and preferentially expressed the V beta 14 T cell receptor (TCR) gene family. In addition, these cells expressed cutaneous lymphocyte antigen and CCR4 surface molecules, suggesting that they could migrate to the skin. Results obtained from the lesions of patients with localized cutaneous leishmaniaisis (LCL) showed that V beta 14 TCR expression was increased in most lesions (63.5%) and that expression of only a small number of V beta gene families (V beta 1, V beta 6, V beta 9, V beta 14, and V beta 24) was increased. The presence of V beta 14 T cells in tissue confirmed the migration of these cells to the lesion site. Thus, we propose the following sequence of events during infection with L. guyanensis. After initial exposure to L. guyanensis, CD8(+) T cells preferentially expressing the V beta 14 TCR and secreting IFN- gamma develop and circulate in the periphery. During the infection, these cells migrate to the skin at the site of the parasitic infection. The role of these V beta 14 CD8(+) T cells in resistance to infection remains to be determined conclusively.

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