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Eur J Immunol. 2015 Feb;45(2):442-51. doi: 10.1002/eji.201444635.

Th17-related cytokines contribute to recall-like expansion/effector function of HMBPP-specific Vγ2Vδ2 T cells after Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection or vaccination.

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Chinese Academy of Science, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Shanghai, China; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Primate Biomedical Research, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.


Whether cytokines can influence the adaptive immune response by antigen-specific γδ T cells during infections or vaccinations remains unknown. We previously demonstrated that, during BCG/Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infections, Th17-related cytokines markedly upregulated when phosphoantigen-specific Vγ2Vδ2 T cells expanded. In this study, we examined the involvement of Th17-related cytokines in the recall-like responses of Vγ2Vδ2 T cells following Mtb infection or vaccination against TB. Treatment with IL-17A/IL-17F or IL-22 expanded phosphoantigen 4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-enyl pyrophosphate (HMBPP)-stimulated Vγ2Vδ2 T cells from BCG-vaccinated macaques but not from naïve animals, and IL-23 induced greater expansion than the other Th17-related cytokines. Consistently, Mtb infection of macaques also enhanced the ability of IL-17/IL-22 or IL-23 to expand HMBPP-stimulated Vγ2Vδ2 T cells. When evaluating IL-23 signaling as a prototype, we found that HMBPP/IL-23-expanded Vγ2Vδ2 T cells from macaques infected with Mtb or vaccinated with BCG or Listeria ΔactA prfA*-ESAT6/Ag85B produced IL-17, IL-22, IL-2, and IFN-γ. Interestingly, HMBPP/IL-23-induced production of IFN-γ in turn facilitated IL-23-induced expansion of HMBPP-activated Vγ2Vδ2 T cells. Furthermore, HMBPP/IL-23-induced proliferation of Vγ2Vδ2 T cells appeared to require APC contact and involve the conventional and novel protein kinase C signaling pathways. These findings suggest that Th17-related cytokines can contribute to recall-like expansion and effector function of Ag-specific γδ T cells after infection or vaccination.


IL-17/IL-22; IL-23; Phosphoantigen; Tuberculosis; γδ T cells

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