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Eur J Immunol. 1997 Dec;27(12):3368-79.

Control of B cell lymphoma recognition via natural killer inhibitory receptors implies a role for human Vgamma9/Vdelta2 T cells in tumor immunity.

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Department of Immunology, University of Tübingen, Germany.


The Vgamma9/Vdelta2 T cell receptor (TCR) is expressed by most human gammadelta T cells. We show here that cytotoxic T lymphocytes of the Vgamma9/Vdelta2 subset, but not of the Vdelta1 subset of human gammadelta T cells, express natural killer inhibitory receptors (KIR) with specificity for different HLA class I alleles that down-regulate TCR-mediated signaling in response to HLA class I-expressing B cell lymphomas. Vgamma9/Vdelta2 T cell clones with a T helper cell phenotype lack KIR and produce lymphokines in response to most human B cell lymphomas, just as they do upon recognition of the HLA class I-deficient human Burkitt's lymphoma Daudi. Thus, human Vgamma9/Vdelta2 T cells have an innate specificity for nonpolymorphic cell surface structures expressed by many lymphoma cells and their cytotoxic activity is controlled by KIR. These results imply a general role of human Vgamma9/Vdelta2 T cells in the defense against hematopoietic tumors that is distinct from NK cells.

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