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Gammadelta T cells do not require fully functional cytotoxic pathways or the ability to recognize recipient alloantigens to prevent graft rejection. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2006 Nov;12(11):1125-34



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-33750514202 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   6 Citations


Gammadelta T cells are a unique and minor T-cell subset that differs from conventional alphabeta T cells by virtue of their tissue localization and antigen processing requirements. We have previously shown that ex vivo-activated gammadelta T cells are able to prevent graft rejection without causing clinically significant graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In the present study, we examined how gammadelta T cells facilitate alloengraftment and to what extent mechanisms used by conventional alphabeta T cells are also used by gammadelta T cells. We observed that, unlike alphabeta T cells, for which CD8(+) T cells are primarily responsible for facilitating engraftment, purified CD8(+)gammadelta(+) T cells administered at the same fractional dose as for the unseparated activated gammadelta T-cell population were insufficient to prevent graft rejection. Furthermore, the ability to prevent graft rejection was not affected by the absence of fully functional fas ligand or perforin cytotoxic pathways, nor was it contingent on the ability of gammadelta T cells to recognize recipient major histocompatibility process alloantigens. Repetitive infusions of a suboptimal dose of gammadelta T cells however were able to rescue mice from graft rejection, suggesting that the persistence of these cells in vivo was critical in facilitating alloengraftment. These studies demonstrate that gammadelta T cells do not use mechanisms used by conventional nontolerant alphabeta T cells to prevent graft rejection. The ability of these cells to promote engraftment without causing GVHD further distinguishes these cells from alphabeta T cells and may be an attribute that can be exploited in the clinical transplantation setting.

Author List

Vodanovic-Jankovic S, Drobyski WR


William R. Drobyski MD Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Bone Marrow Transplantation
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
Graft Enhancement, Immunologic
Graft Rejection
Graft vs Host Disease
Immune Tolerance
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
T-Lymphocyte Subsets