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J Immunol. 2006 Feb 1;176(3):1348-54.

Direct costimulatory effect of TLR3 ligand poly(I:C) on human gamma delta T lymphocytes.

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Institute of Immunology, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany.


TLR3 recognizes viral dsRNA and its synthetic mimetic polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)). TLR3 expression is commonly considered to be restricted to dendritic cells, NK cells, and fibroblasts. In this study we report that human gammadelta and alphabeta T lymphocytes also express TLR3, as shown by quantitative real-time PCR, flow cytometry, and confocal microscopy. Although T cells did not respond directly to poly(I:C), we observed a dramatic increase in IFN-gamma secretion and an up-regulation of CD69 when freshly isolated gammadelta T cells were stimulated via TCR in the presence of poly(I:C) without APC. IFN-gamma secretion was partially inhibited by anti-TLR3 Abs. In contrast, poly(I:C) did not costimulate IFN-gamma secretion by alphabeta T cells. These results indicate that TLR3 signaling is differentially regulated in TCR-stimulated gammadelta and alphabeta T cells, suggesting an early activation of gammadelta T cells in antiviral immunity.

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