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Curr Med Chem. 2009;16(35):4743-9.

Gammadelta T lymphocytes producing IFNgamma and IL-17 in response to Candida albicans or mycobacterial antigens: possible implications for acute and chronic inflammation.

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Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and Angiogenesis, National Institute for Cancer Research, 16132-Genoa, Italy.


T lymphocytes bearing the gammadelta T cell receptor are known to play an important role in the first-line defense against viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens. Two main subsets of gammadelta T cells are known, showing distinct functional behaviour: Vdelta2 T lymphocytes, circulating in the peripheral blood, are involved in the response to mycobacterial infections and certain viruses, including coxsakie virus B3 and herpes simplex virus type 2. Vdelta1 T cells are resident in the mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue and are reported to participate in the immunity against Listeria monocytogenes and cytomegalovirus. Vdelta2 T lymphocytes recognize non-peptidic phosphorylated metabolites of isoprenoid biosynthesis, expressed by mycobacteria, while Vdelta1 T cells mainly interact with MHC-related antigens (MIC-A and MIC-B) and with receptors, called UL-16 binding proteins, for the UL-16 protein produced by cytomegalovirus-infected cells. Both Vdelta1 and Vdelta2 T cells can produce interferon-gamma in response to MIC-A(+) cells or non-peptide antigens, respectively. Moreover, production of TNF-alpha by human Vgamma9/Vdelta2 T cells has been demonstrated in response to bacterial products and non-peptidic molecules. Recently, it has been reported that gammadelta T lymphocytes can produce IL-17 during Escherichia coli or Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections in mice. This is of interest as IL-17 is emerging as a cytokine crucial in the control of intracellular pathogens and fungi. In this review, we will discuss the possible role of IL-17 producing gammadelta T cells in the regulation of acute and chronic inflammation, focusing on the different response of the two subsets to mycobacterial, viral or fungal antigens.

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