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Cell Immunol. 1994 Jan;153(1):9-27.

Functional and phenotypic characterization of WC1+ gamma/delta T cells isolated from Babesia bovis-stimulated T cell lines.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A & M University, College Station 77843.


Functional studies with WC1+ gamma/delta T cell lines were performed to clarify the role of this subpopulation of gamma/delta T cells in the in vitro immune response to Babesia bovis. As CD4+ T cells decreased and gamma/delta T cells increased in B. bovis-stimulated T cell lines, antigen-specific proliferation declined to background levels. One irradiated gamma/delta T cell line inhibited proliferation of autologous Th1 cells, although unirradiated gamma/delta T cells either synergized with or had no effect on Th cell proliferation. gamma/delta T cells were not cytolytic for bovine alpha/beta T cells, but expressed natural killer (NK)-like cytotoxicity when assayed on xenogeneic NK-sensitive target cells. The gamma/delta T cells were IL-2 dependent and expressed IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha, but not TNF-beta, IL-2, or IL-4 mRNA. Together, these results raise the possibility that WC1+ gamma/delta T cells respond in vitro to autoantigens present on CD4+ T cells or to cytokines secreted by activated CD4+ T cells, resulting in modulation of the CD4+ T cell response and outgrowth of the gamma/delta T cells in parasite-stimulated lines.

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