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Immunol Lett. 1996 Dec;54(2-3):129-34.

Activation features of intraepithelial gamma delta T-cells of the murine vagina.

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Department of Pathology, The University of Iowa, College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.


The epithelium of the murine vagina contains a resident population of gamma delta T-cells that expresses a homogenous Vgamma4/Vdelta1 TCR lacking N-region junctional diversity, implying that these T-cells recognize a very limited array of antigenic structures. The vaginal gamma delta T-cells express a pattern of surface markers characteristic of memory/effector T-cells that have previously been activated. Although vaginal gamma delta T-cells do not express the major costimulatory molecules CD28 and CD2, they do proliferate in response to a systemically delivered anti gamma delta TCR stimulus. Vaginal gamma delta T-cells contain mRNA that encodes the keratinocyte growth factor raising the possibility that these cells play a role in the repair of vaginal epithelium following injury. While the antigen recognized by the vaginal gamma delta TCR is unknown, a model is proposed which attempts to relate some of the unusual phenotypic features of vaginal gamma delta T-cells to the physiological injury and shedding of vaginal epithelium that occurs during the estrous cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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