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Infect Immun. 1997 Oct;65(10):4267-72.

In vivo and in vitro activation and expansion of gammadelta T cells during Listeria monocytogenes infection in humans.

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Groupe de Recherche en Immunopathologie, Institut Fédératif de Recherche Multidisciplinaire sur les Peptides, Hôpital Charles Nicolle, Rouen, France.


Serial flow cytometry analyses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from 8 patients infected with Listeria monocytogenes showed a higher percentage (P < 0.01) of gammadelta T cells (median, 11.7; range, 3.7 to 35.3) than did 16 age-matched uninfected controls (1.7, 0.4 to 13). Most in vivo-expanded gammadelta T cells expressed the Vgamma9 and Vdelta2 gene products and displayed a memory phenotype (CD45RO[high]), and patients' gammadelta T cells expressed significantly more (P < 0.01) activation marker HLA-DR than did controls (19.8% [median] and 0.9 to 87.6% [range] versus 2.3% and 0 to 4.7%, respectively). When peripheral blood mononuclear cells from normal donors were cultured in vitro with heat-killed Listeria cells, analysis of CD25 and HLA-DR expression on gammadelta and alphabeta T cells indicated that a high percentage of gammadelta T cells was activated early compared to alphabeta T cells. In addition, depletion of gammadelta T cells before culture abrogated the early lymphocyte proliferative response induced by the pathogen. Taken together, these results argue for the involvement of gammadelta T cells during L. monocytogenes infection in humans.

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