Human Gamma Delta T Cells Recognize Alkylamines Derived From Microbes, Edible Plants, and Tea: Implications for Innate Immunity

Immunity. 1999 Jul;11(1):57-65. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80081-3.

Abstract

Approximately 4% of peripheral blood T cells in humans express a T cell receptor with markedly restricted germline gene segment usage (V gamma 2 V delta 2). Remarkably, these T cells expand 2- to 10-fold (8%-60% of all circulating T cells) during many microbial infections. We show here that these T cells recognize a family of naturally occurring primary alkylamines in a TCR-dependent manner. These antigenic alkylamines are secreted to millimolar concentrations in bacterial supernatants and are found in certain edible plants. Given the large numbers of memory V gamma 2 V delta 2 T cells in adult humans, recognition of alkylamine antigens offers the immune system a response of the magnitude of major superantigens for alpha beta T cells and may bridge the gap between innate and adaptive immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amines / chemistry
  • Amines / immunology*
  • Amines / metabolism
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Bacteroides fragilis / immunology
  • Bacteroides fragilis / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Clone Cells
  • Clostridium perfringens / immunology
  • Clostridium perfringens / metabolism
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • Ethylamines / chemistry
  • Ethylamines / immunology
  • Ethylamines / metabolism
  • Glutamates / chemistry
  • Glutamates / immunology
  • Glutamates / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Plants, Edible / immunology*
  • Proteus / immunology
  • Proteus / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / physiology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / microbiology
  • Tea / chemistry
  • Tea / immunology*
  • Tea / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured

Substances

  • Amines
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Ethylamines
  • Glutamates
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Tea
  • theanine