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J Leukoc Biol. 1997 Sep;62(3):287-91.

Gammadelta T cell activation or anergy during infections: the role of nonpeptidic TCR ligands and HLA class I molecules.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Rome Tor Vergata.


Vgamma9Vdelta2-encoded T cell receptors (TCR) expressed by most human peripheral blood gammadelta T cells mediate the recognition of nonpeptidic phosphoantigens from various pathogens without any known requirement for HLA molecules. Functionally mature Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cells display a potent natural killer (NK)-like cytotoxic activity, share with NK cells the expression of inhibitory receptors for HLA class I molecules, and release a plethora of cytokines, most notably interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Hence, through local activation, the early recruitment and stimulation of Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cells may promote efficient anti-infectious immunity. However, a chronic overactivation of this T cell subset may result in immunopathology. The meeting held in St. Vincent, Val d'Aosta, Italy (symposium on gammadelta T cells in natural immunity to infections: a rationale for vaccine development organized by the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, the UNESCO, and the Italian National Research Council, December 2-4, 1996) focused on the importance of gammadelta T cell activation and anergy for the pathogenesis of tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV infections.

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