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Nat Immunol. 2009 Apr;10(4):427-36. doi: 10.1038/ni.1717. Epub 2009 Mar 8.

CD27 is a thymic determinant of the balance between interferon-gamma- and interleukin 17-producing gammadelta T cell subsets.

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Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.


The production of cytokines such as interferon-gamma and interleukin 17 by alphabeta and gammadelta T cells influences the outcome of immune responses. Here we show that most gammadelta T lymphocytes expressed the tumor necrosis factor receptor family member CD27 and secreted interferon-gamma, whereas interleukin 17 production was restricted to CD27(-) gammadelta T cells. In contrast to the apparent plasticity of alphabeta T cells, the cytokine profiles of these distinct gammadelta T cell subsets were essentially stable, even during infection. These phenotypes were established during thymic development, when CD27 functions as a regulator of the differentiation of gammadelta T cells at least in part by inducing expression of the lymphotoxin-beta receptor and genes associated with trans-conditioning and interferon-gamma production. Thus, the cytokine profiles of peripheral gammadelta T cells are predetermined mainly by a mechanism involving CD27.

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