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J Immunol. 2002 Feb 1;168(3):1484-9.

Lack of CD27-CD45RA-V gamma 9V delta 2+ T cell effectors in immunocompromised hosts and during active pulmonary tuberculosis.

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Laboratory of Clinical Pathology-Immunopathology, Padiglione Del Vecchio, National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Lazzaro Spallanzani, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Via Portuense 292, 00149 Rome, Italy.


In humans, the circulating pool of mycobacteria-reactive Vgamma9Vdelta2+ T cells is expanded with age and may contribute to Mycobacterium tuberculosis immunosurveillance. We observed that two subsets of Vgamma9Vdelta2+ T cells could be identified on the basis of CD27 expression in immunocompetent adults, showing that functionally differentiated gammadelta T cells have lost CD27 expression. In contrast, the CD27-CD45RA-Vgamma9Vdelta2+ T cell subset of effector cells was absent in cord blood cells from healthy newborns and lacking in the peripheral blood from HIV-infected patients. Moreover, circulating Vgamma9Vdelta2+ T cell effectors were significantly reduced in patients with acute pulmonary tuberculosis, resulting in a reduced frequency of IFN-gamma-producing cells after stimulation with nonpeptidic mycobacterial ligands. These observations indicate that monitoring and boosting gammadelta T cell effectors could be clinically relevant both in immunocompromised hosts and during active tuberculosis disease.

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