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J Immunol. 2004 Jun 1;172(11):6578-86.

Mechanisms of Vdelta1 gammadelta T cell activation by microbial components.

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Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Immunol. 2004 Aug 1;173(3):following 2198.


There are two major subsets of gammadelta T cell in humans. Vgamma2Vdelta2 T cells predominate in the circulation and significantly expand in vivo during a variety of infectious diseases. Ags identified for the Vdelta2 T cells are nonpeptide phosphate, amine, and aminobisphosphonate compounds. In contrast, Vdelta1-encoded TCRs account for the vast majority of gammadelta T cells in tissues such as intestine and spleen. Some of these T cells recognize CD1c and MHC class I-related chain (MICA/B) molecules [correction]. These T cells are cytotoxic and use both perforin- and Fas-mediated cytotoxicity. A fundamental question is how these gammadelta T cells are activated during microbial exposure to carry out effector functions. In this study, we provide evidence for a mechanism by which Vdelta1 gammadelta T cells are activated by inflammatory cytokines in the context of the Vdelta1 TCR. Dendritic cells are necessary as accessory cells for microbial Ag-mediated Vdelta1 gammadelta T cell activation. Cytokine (IL-12), adhesion (LFA3/CD2, LFA1/ICAM1) and costimulatory (MHC class I-related chain (MICA/B) molecules/NK-activating receptor G2D) molecules play a significant role along with Vdelta1 TCR in this activation.

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