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Int Immunol. 1989;1(5):540-5.

A large proportion of bovine T cells express the gamma delta T cell receptor and show a distinct tissue distribution and surface phenotype.

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Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


The numbers, phenotype, and tissue distribution of gamma delta T cells in cattle were studied using two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) which react with the bovine gamma delta T cell receptor (TCR). Both mAbs stained 20-40% of T cells in peripheral blood, and immunoprecipitated molecules of 44 and 36 kd (reduced) and 70-80 kd (non-reduced). In cattle the majority of circulating gamma delta T cells showed a distinct surface phenotype; they expressed T19, a 215 kd molecule described in sheep and cattle which marks only gamma delta T cells. Bovine gamma delta T cells were also CD2-, CD4-, and mostly CD8-, and failed to express CD6, a molecule possibly involved in T cell activation. The distribution of gamma delta T cells in cattle lymphoid tissues differed markedly from that in humans, in that bovine gamma delta T cells were concentrated around lymph node trabeculae and were usually sparse or absent from the B cell and T cell domains of lymph nodes. Like most other species studied, gamma delta T cells in cattle were localized to epithelial surfaces, particularly within the skin and intestine, indicating that it was at these sites where gamma delta T cells functioned. Our results provide further evidence for the unusual localization, recirculation pattern, and phenotype of gamma delta T cells, and also show that some features of gamma delta T cells can differ quite markedly from species to species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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