Gamma delta T cell help of B cells is induced by repeated parasitic infection, in the absence of other T cells.

Pao W, Wen L, Smith AL, Gulbranson-Judge A, Zheng B, Kelsoe G, MacLennan IC, Owen MJ, Hayday AC
Curr Biol. 1996 6 (10): 1317-25

PMID: 8939571 · DOI:10.1016/s0960-9822(02)70718-5

BACKGROUND - gamma delta T cells, like alpha beta T cells, are components of all well-studied vertebrate immune systems. Yet, the contribution of gamma delta T cells to immune responses is poorly characterized. In particular, it has not been resolved whether gamma delta cells, independent of any other T cells, can help B cells produce immunoglobulin and form germinal centers, anatomical foci of specialized T cell-B cell collaboration.

RESULTS - TCR beta-/- mice, which lack all T cells except gamma delta T cells, routinely displayed higher levels of antibody than fully T cell-deficient mice. Repeated parasitic infection of TCR beta-/- mice, but not of T cell-deficient mice, increased antibody levels and induced germinal centers that contained B cells and monoclonal gamma delta cells in close juxtaposition. However, antibody specificities were more commonly against self than against the challenging pathogen. gamma delta T cell-B cell help was not induced by repeated inoculation of TCR beta-/- mice with mycobacterial antigens.

CONCLUSIONS - In the absence of any other T cells, gamma delta T cell-B cell collaboration can be significantly enhanced by repeated infection. However, the lack of obvious enrichment for antibodies against the challenging pathogen distinguishes gamma delta T cell help from alpha beta T cell help induced under analogous circumstances. The increased production of generalized antibodies may be particularly relevant to the development of autoimmunity, which commonly occurs in patients suffering from alpha beta T cell deficiencies, such as AIDS.

MeSH Terms (15)

Animals Antibodies, Antinuclear Antibodies, Protozoan B-Lymphocytes CD4 Antigens Coccidiosis Eimeria Gene Rearrangement, gamma-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor Germinal Center Immunity, Cellular Immunoglobulin G Mice Mice, Mutant Strains Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer

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