• cell migration;
  • cell trafficking;
  • IBD;
  • γδ T cells


Changes in phenotype and function of γδ T cells have been reported in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Dysregulation of lymphocyte migration plays a key role in IBD pathogenesis; however, data on migratory properties of γδ T cells are scarce. Human circulating γδ T cells from healthy controls (n = 27), patients with active CD (n = 15), active UC (n = 14) or cutaneous manifestations of IBD (n = 2) were characterized by flow cytometry. Circulating γδ T cells in healthy controls were CD3hi and expressed CD45RO. They expressed gut-homing molecule β7 but not gut-homing molecule corresponding chemokine receptors (CCR)9, or skin-homing molecules cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA) and CCR4, despite conventional T cells containing populations expressing these molecules. CCR9 expression was increased on γδ T cells in CD and UC, while skin-homing CLA was expressed aberrantly on γδ T cells in patients with cutaneous manifestations of IBD. Lower levels of CD3 expression were found on γδ T cells in CD but not in UC, and a lower proportion of γδ T cells expressed CD45RO in CD and UC. Enhanced expression of gut-homing molecules on circulating γδ T cells in IBD and skin-homing molecules in cutaneous manifestations of IBD may be of clinical relevance.