Article Text

PDF

Tissue distribution of human gamma delta T cells: no evidence for general epithelial tropism.
  1. T M Vroom,
  2. G Scholte,
  3. F Ossendorp,
  4. J Borst
  1. Department of Pathology, Rotterdam Cancer Center, The Netherlands.

    Abstract

    In man and mice only a small proportion of T cells in the peripheral lymphoid compartment express the gamma delta T cell receptor (TCR). In mice, however, gamma delta T cells comprise the predominant population at particular epithelial sites--in epidermis and epithelia of intestine, reproductive organs, and tongue. The distribution of gamma delta T cells in normal human tissues was investigated, paying particular attention to epithelial layers. In all lymphatic organs and in epithelia of a wide variety of non-lymphatic organs, including the respiratory tract, male and female reproductive organs and tongue, gamma delta T cells constituted less than 5% of total T cells, with the remainder expressing TCR alpha beta. The only exception was the intestine, where gamma delta T cells were preferentially situated in the columnar epithelium of the crypts, rather than in the lamina propria. It is concluded, therefore, that human gamma delta T cells do not display a general epithelial tropism and are, in terms of relative numbers, no more able than alpha beta T cells to carry out continuous surveillance of the immune system against infection or transformation in epithelia. gamma delta T cells may, however, have a specialised function in the epithelium of the intestinal tract.

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.