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Trends Immunol. 2006 Mar;27(3):112-8. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Gammadelta T cells: an alternative type of professional APC.

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Institute of Cell Biology, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 4, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.


A subtype of activated human gammadelta T cells, termed Vdelta2+ T cells, has antigen-presentation features similar in potency and efficacy to those seen in dendritic cells. Comparable treatment of alphabeta T cells does not result in 'professional' antigen presenting cells (APCs). What is so special about Vdelta2+ T cells? How do they acquire these unexpected properties? Under what physiological conditions would such a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity come into play? In addition to discussing these questions, we introduce a model that correlates the expression of lymph node homing receptors in Vdelta2+ T cells with the involvement of this alternative type of APC in anti-microbial alphabeta T cell responses.

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