Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 1989 May 1;142(9):3045-9.

Tissue localization and CD8 accessory molecule expression of T gamma delta cells in humans.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Alabama, Birmingham.


In this study, we used TCR isotype-specific antibodies to examine the frequency, phenotype, and histologic localization pattern of T gamma delta cells in humans. The TCR delta 1+ cells comprised an average of 15% of the splenic CD3+ cells and 7% of circulating T cells. The T gamma delta cells in these human tissues, like their avian counterparts, were often not "double-negative" for the CD4 and CD8 accessory molecules. Approximately 50% of the splenic delta+ cells expressed CD8, and 30% of the delta+ cells in blood were CD8+. T cells of both gamma delta and alpha beta TCR isotypes were exceedingly rare in the skin. The T gamma delta cells exhibited preferential homing to the sinusoidal areas (red pulp) of the spleen and into the epithelial layer of the intestine in humans, as had been previously noted in chickens. Although 80% of the T gamma delta cells in the human intestinal mucosa were localized in the epithelial layer, these cells represented only 5 to 10% of all the CD3+ T cells in this microenvironment. We conclude that T gamma delta cells represent a sizeable subpopulation of the T cells in human peripheral tissues. The phylogenetic conservation of the CD8 expression by peripheral T gamma delta cells and of their preferential homing pattern suggests a special role in bodily defense for this T cell subpopulation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk