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The role of gamma delta T cells in immunity to Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle

Jodi L. McGill, Randy E. Sacco, Cynthia L. Baldwin, Janice C. Telfer, Mitchell V. Palmer, W. Ray Waters
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology 2014 v.159 no.3-4 pp. 133-143
Mycobacterium bovis, T-lymphocytes, adaptive immunity, bacterial antigens, calves, cell wall components, granuloma, heat shock proteins, immune response, immunoglobulin G, interferon-gamma, interleukin-4, lungs, lymph nodes, mice, mycobacterial diseases, peptidoglycans, severe combined immunodeficiency, structural proteins, vaccination, vaccines, virulence
Accumulating evidence suggests that γδ T cells play a critical role in the early response to Mycobacterium bovis and may be key in bridging innate and adaptive immunity following infection. In vitro, γδ T cells proliferate and produce robust amounts of IFNγ in response to complex, protein and non-protein mycobacterial antigens including M. bovis purified protein derivative (PPD), heat shock proteins and cell wall components such as mycolylarabinogalactan peptidoglycan (mAGP). Vaccination with Bacille Calumette-Guerin (BCG), as well as infection with virulent M. bovis, induces an increase in the frequency and activation of WC1+ γδ T cells circulating in the blood. Gamma delta T cells are rapidly recruited to the lungs and draining lymph nodes following BCG vaccination, and accumulate in developing lesions early following M. bovis infection. In Severe Combined Immuno-deficient (SCID)-bo mice, depletion of γδ T cells prior to M. bovis infection results in impaired granuloma formation, suggesting a role for γδ T cells in immune cell recruitment and lesion development. In vivo depletion of WC1+ γδ T cells from calves prior to M. bovis infection results in significantly reduced levels of M. bovis specific IgG2 and IFNγ, and increased IL-4 production compared to non-depleted control animals, suggesting that γδ T cells may also play a role in shaping the character of the adaptive M. bovis specific immune response. Whereas it is clear that γδ T cells are responding during M. bovis infection, much remains to be understood about their function in vivo and their ability to shape the innate and adaptive immune responses. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of γδ T cell biology with a particular emphasis on the immune response of γδ T cells in cattle during M. bovis infection.