Send to

Choose Destination
Chem Immunol Allergy. 2005;86:151-83.

gammadelta T cells link innate and adaptive immune responses.

Author information

Medizinische Klinik I., Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universit├Ąt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


While most T cells use a CD3-associated alpha/beta T cell receptor as antigen recognition structure, a second population of T cells expresses the alternative gamma/delta T cell receptor. gamma/delta T cells are a minor population in the peripheral blood but constitute a major population among intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes. Most gamma/delta T cells recognize ligands which are fundamentally different from the short peptides that are seen by alpha/beta T cells in the context of MHC class I or class II molecules. Thus, human Vdelta2 T cells recognize small bacterial phosphoantigens, alkylamines and synthetic aminobisphosphonates, whereas Vdelta1 T cells recognize stress-inducible MHC-related molecules MICA/B as well as several other ligands. At the functional level, gamma/delta T cells rapidly produce a variety of cytokines and usually exert potent cytotoxic activity, also towards many tumor cells. In this article, we discuss the role of gamma/delta T cells as a bridge between the innate and the adaptive immune system, based on the interpretation that gamma/delta T cells use their T cell receptor as a pattern recognition receptor. Our increasing understanding of the ligand recognition and activation mechanisms of gamma/delta T cells also opens new perspectives for the development of gamma/delta T cell-based immunotherapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center