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Evidence for the involvement of lung-specific γδ T cell subsets in local responses to Streptococcus pneumoniae infection

European Journal of Immunology
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1002/eji.200737216
  • Immunity To Infection
  • Medicine


Although γδ T cells are involved in the response to many pathogens, the dynamics and heterogeneity of the local γδ T cell response remains poorly defined. We recently identified γδ T cells as regulators of macrophages and dendritic cells during the resolution of Streptococcus pneumoniae-mediated lung inflammation. Here, using PCR, spectratype analysis and flow cytometry, we show that multiple γδ T cell subsets, including those bearing Vγ1, Vγ4 and Vγ6 TCR, increase in number in the lungs of infected mice, but not in associated lymphoid tissue. These γδ T cells displayed signs of activation, as defined by CD69 and CD25 expression. In vivo BrdU incorporation suggested that local expansion, rather than recruitment, was the principal mechanism underlying this increase in γδ T cells. This conclusion was supported by the finding that pulmonary γδ T cells, but not αβ T cells, isolated from mice that had resolved infection exhibited lung-homing capacity in both naive and infected recipients. Together, these data provide novel insights into the origins of the heterogeneous γδ T cell response that accompanies lung infection, and the first evidence that inflammation-associated γδ T cells may exhibit distinct tissue-homing potential.

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