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Int J Biol Sci 2014; 10(2):119-135. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7823

Review

γδ T Cells and Their Potential for Immunotherapy

Yan-Ling Wu1✉, Yan-Ping Ding1,2, Yoshimasa Tanaka3, Li-Wen Shen2, Chuan-He Wei2, Nagahiro Minato4, Wen Zhang2✉

1. Lab of Molecular Immunology, Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 630 Xincheng Road, Hangzhou, 310051, China
2. Lab of Chemical Biology and Molecular Drug Design, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Zhejiang University of Technology, 18 Chaowang Road, Hangzhou, 310014, China
3. Center for Innovation in Immunoregulative Technology and Therapeutics, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan
4. Department of Immunology and Cell Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan

Abstract

Vγ9Vδ2 (also termed Vγ2Vδ2) T cells, a major human peripheral blood γδ T cell subset, recognize microbial (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate and endogenous isopentenyl diphosphate in a TCR-dependent manner. The recognition does not require specific accessory cells, antigen uptake, antigen processing, or MHC class I, class II, or class Ib expression. This subset of T cells plays important roles in mediating innate immunity against a wide variety of infections and displays potent and broad cytotoxic activity against human tumor cells. Because γδT cells express both natural killer receptors such as NKG2D and γδ T cell receptors, they are considered to represent a link between innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, activated γδ T cells express a high level of antigen-presenting cell-related molecules and can present peptide antigens derived from destructed cells to αβ T cells. Utilizing these antimicrobial and anti-tumor properties of γδ T cells, preclinical and clinical trials have been conducted to develop novel immunotherapies for infections and malignancies. Here, we review the immunological properties of γδ T cells including the underlying recognition mechanism of nonpeptitde antigens and summarize the results of γδ T cell-based therapies so far performed. Based on the results of the reported trials, γδ T cells appear to be a promising tool for novel immunotherapies against certain types of diseases.

Keywords: γδ T cells, nonpeptide antigen, tumor, infection, autoimmune and allergic diseases, immunotherapy

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How to cite this article:
Wu YL, Ding YP, Tanaka Y, Shen LW, Wei CH, Minato N, Zhang W. γδ T Cells and Their Potential for Immunotherapy. Int J Biol Sci 2014; 10(2):119-135. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7823. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v10p0119.htm