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Biol Reprod. 2007 Dec;77(6):914-22. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

Bovine luteal cells stimulate proliferation of major histocompatibility nonrestricted gamma delta T cells.

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  • 1Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University/Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, Ohio 44691, USA.


Luteal cells are potent activators of T cell proliferation in vitro. The purpose of this study was to determine which subset of T cells is stimulated by luteal cells and whether luteal cell-induced T cell activation elicits a proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory T cell response. The first objective was to determine if luteal cell-stimulated T cell proliferation was mediated by class I or II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. T cell proliferation was inhibited by anti-MHC class I but not anti-MHC class II antibodies. The second objective was to determine which T cell subtype proliferates when cultured with luteal cells. The proportions of CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells were unchanged, but the number of gamma delta T cells was increased by coculture with luteal cells. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the presence of gamma delta T cells in midcycle and regressing corpus luteum. The final objective was to characterize T cell cytokine production stimulated by luteal cells. The concentrations of interferon-gamma (IFNG) and interleukin 10 (IL10) were increased in luteal cell-T cell cocultures, whereas IL4 was undetectable, and IL12 was barely detectable in culture medium. It was concluded that coculture of luteal cells and T cells resulted in activation of a somewhat unique T cell subset, gamma delta T cells, as well as production of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. To our knowledge, this is the first report of gamma delta T cell activation by luteal parenchymal cells of any species, raising the possibility that tissue-resident gamma delta T cells are involved in regulating the balance between tissue homeostasis and luteolysis.

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