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Eur J Immunol. 1990 Mar;20(3):533-8.

Sequential appearance of gamma/delta- and alpha/beta-bearing T cells in the peritoneal cavity during an i.p. infection with Listeria monocytogenes.

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Department of Immunology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


To search for a potential role of T cell antigen receptor (TcR) gamma/delta-bearing cells in host-defense against Listeria monocytogenes, we analyzed the sequential appearance of gamma/delta and alpha/beta T cell in the peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) during an i.p. infection with sublethal dose (2 X 10(3) of viable Listeria organisms in mice. The PEC on day 1 after the infection consisted of 48% macrophages and 50% lymphocytes, most of which were surface IgM+ (B) cells. The number of PEC increased to the maximal level by day 3. The PEC at this stage contained an appreciable number of CD3+ T cells in addition to a large number of macrophages. Of the CD3+ cells, the proportion of CD4- CD8- cells, most of which expressed no TcR alpha/beta, increased to the maximal level on day 3 after the infection. In correlation with an increased number of CD3+ CD4- CD8- TcR alpha/beta- cells, high level of TcR gamma/delta chain gene messages was detected in the nonadherent population of the PEC on this stage. On the other hand, the PEC on day 8 contained an increased number of CD4+ CD8- and CD4- CD8+ cells which expressed TcR alpha/beta chain on their surface. These results suggest that the gamma/delta T cells precede the alpha/beta T cells in appearance during listerial infection. The gamma/delta T cells may be involved at the first line of the host-defense against Listeria.

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