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Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 May;2(5):336-45.

Gammadelta T cells: functional plasticity and heterogeneity.

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School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.


Gammadelta T cells remain an enigma. They are capable of generating more unique antigen receptors than alphabeta T cells and B cells combined, yet their repertoire of antigen receptors is dominated by specific subsets that recognize a limited number of antigens. A variety of sometimes conflicting effector functions have been ascribed to them, yet their biological function(s) remains unclear. On the basis of studies of gammadelta T cells in infectious and autoimmune diseases, we argue that gammadelta T cells perform different functions according to their tissue distribution, antigen-receptor structure and local microenvironment; we also discuss how and at what stage of the immune response they become activated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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