Regulatory Gamma Delta T Cells in Heymann Nephritis Express an Invariant Vgamma6/Vdelta1 With a Canonical CDR3 Sequence

Eur J Immunol. 2004 Aug;34(8):2322-30. doi: 10.1002/eji.200324780.


Gammadelta T cells are expanded in human IgA nephropathy and in a rat model of adriamycin (ADR)-induced nephropathy. Despite different diseases and species, these renal gammadelta T cells use a restricted set of gammadelta T cell receptor (TCR) genes. To explore whether this phenomenon of post injury expansion of gammadelta T cells occurs in autoimmune-mediated glomerulonephritis, we studied gammadelta TCR genes in Heymann nephritis (HN). Gammadelta T cells were increased in HN kidneys (p<0.001). These gammadelta T cells predominantly expressed Vgamma6/Vdelta1 genes and used canonical matching sequences previously seen in the other models of renal injury. Gammadelta T cells from the kidneys expressed high levels of TGF-beta, IL-4 and IL-5. The gammadelta T cells from both ADR-treated and HN kidneys expressed NKG2D, the NK cell-activating receptor. These results demonstrate that the majority of gammadelta T cells in the HN kidney use a canonical Vgamma6/Vdelta1 TCR--the gammadelta TCR previously described in the rat ADR-treated kidney. The restriction in gammadelta TCR seen in two completely different models of kidney injury and the expression of an innate activating molecule NKG2D suggests that the gammadelta T cells may be responding to tissue stress from injury and producing a regulatory response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology*
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / chemistry
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • KLRK1 protein, human
  • Klrk1 protein, mouse
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta