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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 May;117(5):1178-84. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Recognition of pollen-derived phosphatidyl-ethanolamine by human CD1d-restricted gamma delta T cells.

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  • 1Experimental Immunology and Allergy, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidences from mice and human beings indicate that gammadelta T cells could be relevant in recognition of stress-induced self and/or yet unidentified inhaled foreign antigens. Their specificity differs from classic MHC-restricted alphabeta T cells and involves the immunoglobulin-like structure of the gammadelta T-cell receptor with the recognition of small organic molecules, alkylamines, and self lipid compounds presented by CD1+ dendritic cells.

OBJECTIVE:

Because CD1 receptors are mainly devoted to lipid antigen presentation, we sought to determine whether exogenous pollen membrane lipids may act as allergens for CD1-restricted gammadelta T cells.

METHODS:

Peripheral blood and nasal mucosa-associated gammadelta T cells were cloned from normal controls and cypress-sensitive subjects and tested for their antigen specificity and CD1-restriction with phospholipids extracted from tree pollen grains, as well with other natural or synthetic compounds. Phospholipid reactivity of cloned gammadelta T cells was measured by mean of proliferative response and cytokine release as well as by testing their helper activity on IgE production in vitro and in vivo.

RESULTS:

Cloned gammadelta T lymphocytes from subjects with allergy, but not normal controls, were found to recognize pollen-derived phosphatidyl-ethanolamine (PE) in a CD1d-restricted fashion. Only 16:0/18:2 and 18:2/18:2 PE were stimulatory, whereas no response was recorded for disaturated PE, phosphatidylcholine, neutral lipids, or protein extract. Proliferating clones secreted both T(H)1-type and T(H)2-type cytokines and drove IgE production in vitro and in vivo.

CONCLUSION:

CD1d-restricted gammadelta T cells specific for phospholipids can represent a key mucosal regulatory subset for the control of early host reactivity against tree pollens.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

By knowing how lipid allergen constituents interact with mucosal immune system, we can expand our possibilities in diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

PMID:
16675349
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaci.2006.01.001
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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