Gammadelta receptor bearing T cells in scleroderma: enhanced interaction with vascular endothelial cells in vitro

Clin Immunol. 1999 May;91(2):188-95. doi: 10.1006/clim.1999.4694.


In view of the documented perivascular mononuclear cell infiltration in the involved organs in scleroderma (SSc) and the reported accumulation of gammadelta-T cells in SSc skin and lung, we evaluated gammadelta-T cell interaction with endothelial cells (EC) in vitro. gammadelta- and alphabeta-T cells were isolated from BPMN of SSc patients with early diffuse disease and of matched control subjects by an immunomagnetic method after stimulation with mycobacterium lysate and interleukin-2 for 2 weeks. Lymphocyte adhesion, proliferation, and cytotoxicity to EC were investigated. SSc gammadelta-T cells adhered to cultured EC and proliferated at higher rates than control cells. Furthermore, significant EC cytotoxicity by SSc gammadelta was seen. The cytotoxicity was blocked by addition of anti-gammadelta-TCR antibody and by anti-granzyme A antibody but not by anti-MHC class I and II antibodies. Expression of granzyme A mRNA was seen in five/five SSc gammadelta-T cells and in one/five control cells. alphabeta-T cells from both SSc and control subjects were significantly less interactive with EC than gammadelta-T cells. The data demonstrate EC recognition by SSc gammadelta-T cells and propose gammadelta-T cells as a possible effector cell type in the immune pathogenesis of SSc.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Granzymes
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / immunology
  • Serine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Granzymes
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • GZMA protein, human