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Clin Immunol. 1999 May;91(2):188-95.

Gammadelta receptor bearing T cells in scleroderma: enhanced interaction with vascular endothelial cells in vitro.

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Division of Rheumatology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio 43699, USA.


In view of the documented perivascular mononuclear cell infiltration in the involved organs in scleroderma (SSc) and the reported accumulation of gammadelta-T cells in SSc skin and lung, we evaluated gammadelta-T cell interaction with endothelial cells (EC) in vitro. gammadelta- and alphabeta-T cells were isolated from BPMN of SSc patients with early diffuse disease and of matched control subjects by an immunomagnetic method after stimulation with mycobacterium lysate and interleukin-2 for 2 weeks. Lymphocyte adhesion, proliferation, and cytotoxicity to EC were investigated. SSc gammadelta-T cells adhered to cultured EC and proliferated at higher rates than control cells. Furthermore, significant EC cytotoxicity by SSc gammadelta was seen. The cytotoxicity was blocked by addition of anti-gammadelta-TCR antibody and by anti-granzyme A antibody but not by anti-MHC class I and II antibodies. Expression of granzyme A mRNA was seen in five/five SSc gammadelta-T cells and in one/five control cells. alphabeta-T cells from both SSc and control subjects were significantly less interactive with EC than gammadelta-T cells. The data demonstrate EC recognition by SSc gammadelta-T cells and propose gammadelta-T cells as a possible effector cell type in the immune pathogenesis of SSc.

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