Expanding the Professional Cell Staff

Science's STKE  12 Jul 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 292, pp. tw258
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2922005tw258

Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) chew up proteins and offer the resulting fragments of peptide, along with a suite of stimulatory molecules, to cells of the αβ T cell receptor (TCR) lineage to produce activated T cells armed and ready to clear the corresponding infection. Few cell types are known to be potent "professional" APCs, and at the very top of the stack are dendritic cells (DCs). Brandes et al. (see the Perspective by Modlin and Sieling) now expand this realm to include a subset of nonconventional human T cells bearing the γδ TCR. These cells react vigorously to microbial stimulation and, when induced to do so in cell culture, became extremely efficient at presenting different types of antigen to their αβ T cell counterparts. The cells appeared to traffic antigen to the same cellular compartments as DCs and up-regulated an equivalent array of stimulatory and homing molecules. As well as contributing directly to innate immunity, γδ T cells may also represent important instigators of adaptive immune responses.

M. Brandes, K. Willimann, B. Moser, Professional antigen-presentation function by human γδ T cells. Science 309, 264-268 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]

R. L. Modlin, P. A. Sieling, Now presenting: γδ T cells. Science 309, 252-253 (2005). [Summary] [Full Text]