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J Immunol. 2008 Jul 1;181(1):309-19.

Evidence that CD8+ dendritic cells enable the development of gammadelta T cells that modulate airway hyperresponsiveness.

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Department of Immunology, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO 80206, USA.


Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), a hallmark of asthma and several other diseases, can be modulated by gammadelta T cells. In mice sensitized and challenged with OVA, AHR depends on allergen-specific alphabeta T cells; but Vgamma1+ gammadelta T cells spontaneously enhance AHR, whereas Vgamma4+ gammadelta T cells, after being induced by airway challenge, suppress AHR. The activity of these gammadelta T cell modulators is allergen nonspecific, and how they develop is unclear. We now show that CD8 is essential for the development of both the AHR suppressor and enhancer gammadelta T cells, although neither type needs to express CD8 itself. Both cell types encounter CD8-expressing non-T cells in the spleen, and their functional development in an otherwise CD8-negative environment can be restored with transferred spleen cell preparations containing CD8+ dendritic cells (DCs), but not CD8+ T cells or CD8- DCs. Our findings suggest that CD8+ DCs in the lymphoid tissues enable an early step in the development of gammadelta T cells through direct cell contact. DC-expressed CD8 might take part in this interaction.

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