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J Immunol. 1995 Oct 15;155(8):3866-76.

Antigen-presenting cells for naive transgenic gamma delta T cells. Potent activation by activated alpha beta T cells.

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Division of Immunology and Cancer Research, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.


The function of gamma delta T cells, particularly the minor population of circulating gamma delta T cells, remains unclear. To study these lymphoid gamma delta T cells, a transgenic SCID mouse containing the KN6 gamma delta TCR whose ligand is the TL gene product, T22b, was created. KN6-SCID mice contain a monoclonal population of naive KN6+ gamma delta T cells. Using these mice, we have studied the APC required for activation of KN6+ gamma delta T cells in vitro and in vivo. Analysis of an in vitro mixed lymphocyte response identified a hierarchy of potency for stimulation: dendritic cells = T cell blasts > B cell blasts > B cells > resting T cells. In contrast, in vivo, only alpha beta T cells fully activated KN6+ gamma delta T cells as measured by an increase in the number of splenic KN6+ cells, the development of blast morphology, and the development of proliferative anergy in the responding KN6+ cells. The strong stimulatory properties of C57BL/6J T cells appeared to depend on their having been activated by KN6-SCID alloantigens. T cells from (C57BL/6J x BALB/c)F1 mice, which are tolerant of KN6-SCID alloantigens, could not fully activate KN6+ cells. However, the F1 T cells could activate KN6+ cells if they were activated in vivo by the mitogen, staphylococcal enterotoxin B. A mixture of third party activated T cells plus T22b+ non-T cells only partially activated KN6+ cells, implying that activated T22b+ T cells are acting directly as stimulatory cells. Although the Ags recognized by gamma delta T cells are generally unknown, Ag presentation by activated alpha beta T cells may be an important method of activation.

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