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Eur J Immunol. 1993 Oct;23(10):2557-64.

Dynamic response of murine gut intraepithelial T cells after infection by the coccidian parasite Eimeria.

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Central Research Division, Pfizer Inc., Groton, CT.


The response of murine intraepithelial lymphocyte (IEL) populations to challenge by Eimeria vermiformis, a naturally occurring protozoan parasite of the gut epithelium, has been studied. The number of recoverable IEL increased within 3 days post infection, was depleted by day 7 post infection, but was significantly increased again by about day 14 post infection. Special attention was paid to gamma delta+ IEL T cells, because they are of unknown functions. These cells showed changes in numbers similar to the total IEL population. Moreover, by day 3, increased expression was detected among gamma delta+ IEL T cells, of T cell receptor genes not constitutively associated with the intestine. These results demonstrate that the IEL repertoire, and within that, the gamma delta+ T cell repertoire, can be extremely dynamic post infection with a naturally occurring epithelial-tropic pathogen. In considering the potential benefits of such IEL changes, we hypothesize that they may be relevant to the transient protection of the host's epithelium, both from parasitic re-infection, and from potentially damaging inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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