Journal Article

Gamma delta T cells of the murine vagina: T cell response in vivo in the absence of the expression of CD2 and CD28 molecules.

E Rakasz, M Hagen, M Sandor and R G Lynch

in International Immunology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society for Immunology

Volume 9, issue 1, pages 161-167
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 0953-8178
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2377 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intimm/9.1.161
Gamma delta T cells of the murine vagina: T cell response in vivo in the absence of the expression of CD2 and CD28 molecules.

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While little is known about their activation requirements and function, the intraepithelial T cells of the murine vagina express TCR complexes in which the antigen recognition components and the signaling components have unusual features. These vaginal T cells express an invariant V gamma 4/V delta 1 TCR and appear to be the only intraepithelial gamma delta T cells that exclusively use FcR gamma chains in their TCR complex. To further characterize the vaginal gamma delta T cells we isolated them from normal mice and from mice injected systemically with an activation-inducing dose of anti-TCR mAb. The isolated gamma delta T cells were examined by flow cytometry for their surface expression of a panel of adhesion, proteins, activation antigens and cellular interaction molecules (CD44, CD62L, CD45RB, LFA-1, CD2 and CD28). The patterns of expression observed indicate that the vaginal gamma delta T cells of normal mice show the phenotype of effector T cells. The adhesion/co-stimulatory molecules CD28 and CD2 were not detected on vaginal gamma delta T cells, an interesting finding since the absence of CD2 from other T cells has been suggested to result in anergy. However, vaginal gamma delta T cells are responsive to TCR-mediated signals since injection of normal mice with pan-anti-TCR antibody or stimulating anti-gamma delta TCR antibody resulted in an increase in cell number and increased expression of transferrin and IL-2 receptors. These results indicate that vaginal gamma delta T cells might utilize other co-stimulatory molecules, if any, in connection with TCR-induced activation and differentiation. While the physiological function of vaginal gamma delta T cells remains unknown, the expression of an invariant V gamma 4/V delta 1 TCR, their exclusive use of gamma chain homodimers in their TCR, and the absence of CD2 and CD28 co-stimulatory molecules are a novel combination of properties that suggests specialized functional properties. Although vaginal gamma delta T cells share some features in common with gamma delta T cells that reside in other epithelial tissues, such as skin and intestine, the present studies provide additional evidence that vaginal gamma delta T cells are a highly specialized and distinct T cell population.

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Subjects: Immunology ; Biological Sciences

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