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γδ T cells: novel initiators of adaptive immunity

Authors

  • Bernhard Moser,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Cell Biology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
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  • Matthias Eberl

    1. Institute of Cell Biology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
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Bernhard Moser
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology
Henry Wellcome Building
School of Medicine, Cardiff University
Heath Park
Cardiff CF14 4XN
United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 29 207 42799
Fax: +44 29 207 44905
E-mail: moserb@cf.ac.uk

Abstract

Summary:  In this review, we discuss the potential role of human γδ T cells in the control of adaptive immunity. Our latest findings emerged as a consequence of our working hypothesis, which predicts a close relationship between the migration control in leukocytes and their function in immune processes as diverse as hematopoiesis, initiation of adaptive immunity, and immune surveillance in peripheral tissues. Leukocyte migration control is defined by the combination of migration and adhesion receptors on their surface and the tissue distribution of the corresponding ligands. According to our hypothesis, leukocytes featuring migration receptors for homing to lymph nodes (LNs) will also display activities that preferentially take place within LNs. Following this line of thought, by showing LN-homing properties in a subset of human γδ T cells, we speculated that γδ T cells influence the initiation of T- and B-cell responses. Here, we summarize our recent data, showing that LN-homing γδ T cells have potent antigen-presenting cell characteristics. This unexpected finding is discussed with regards to microbial sensing by human γδ T cells and a possible role for these cells in anti-microbial immunity.

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