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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993 Dec;148(6 Pt 1):1685-90.

T-lymphocytes with gamma delta+ V delta 2+ antigen receptors are present in increased proportions in a fraction of patients with tuberculosis or with sarcoidosis.

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Interuniversity Center of Northern Italy for Lung Diseases, Milan.


T-lymphocytes with T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) comprising a gamma chain and a delta chain (gamma delta+ T cells) are believed to be involved in the immune reaction to mycobacterial antigens, and they have been found in increased proportions in sarcoid patients. We evaluated the proportions of gamma delta+ T-lymphocytes and of two major gamma delta+ subpopulations, the V delta 1+ and the V delta 2+ T-cell subsets, in 10 normal blood donors, in 15 patients with tuberculosis (TB), seven of whom had pleural effusion (PE), and in 12 patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis (PS), nine of whom underwent bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). T-cell subsets were evaluated in peripheral blood (PBL) of all subjects and in PE from patients with TB and in BAL from patients with PS. Compared with normal blood donors, patients with TB had increased proportions of PBL CD3+ gamma delta+ T cells (6 +/- 1% versus 14 +/- 3% of CD3+ T cells, p < 0.05) because of the presence of four patients who had an increase (respectively, 18.3, 22.0, 24.2, and 35.4% of CD3+ T cells) of gamma delta+ T cells. In patients with TB and PE, gamma delta+ T cells were 7.9 +/- 2.7%, a value not different from that in the tubercular PBL and in normal PBL. Although patients with PS had proportions of PBL gamma delta+ T cells (9.2 +/- 3.4%) similar to those in normal PBL, two patients had increased (35 and 31%) PBL gamma delta+ T-lymphocytes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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