Persistent infection with Listeria monocytogenes in the kidney induces anti-inflammatory invariant fetal-type gammadelta T cells

Immunology. 2001 Jan;102(1):94-102. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2567.2001.01149.x.


After intraperitoneal inoculation with Listeria monocytogenes, gammadelta T cells appear in the peritoneal cavity preceding the appearance of alphabeta T cells. Such gammadelta T cells predominantly express T-cell receptor (TCR)Vgamma1/Vdelta6, develop through an extrathymic pathway, and contribute to host defence against the bacteria. We have observed a gradual increase in gammadelta T cells in kidneys of mice after intrarenal inoculation with L. monocytogenes, which resulted in an unusually long-lasting local infection. In this study, we examined the characteristics and the roles of the gammadelta T cells induced in this model. It was found that these gammadelta T cells predominantly expressed TCRVgamma6/Vdelta1 with canonical junctional sequences identical to those expressed on fetal thymocytes. Although depletion of such gammadelta T cells in vivo did not affect the number of bacteria, it resulted in histologically exacerbated inflammation in the kidneys. These results indicate that a persistent infection with L. monocytogenes in kidneys induces a different kind of gammadelta T cell from that induced after intraperitoneal infection. The former expresses invariant fetal-type Vgamma6/Vdelta1+TCR and plays a regulatory role in resolution of inflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / immunology
  • Kidney / immunology*
  • Kidney / microbiology
  • Listeria monocytogenes / growth & development
  • Listeriosis / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Nephritis / immunology*
  • Nephritis / microbiology
  • Nephritis / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / analysis*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta