CD56+ human blood dendritic cells effectively promote TH1-type gammadelta T-cell responses

Blood. 2009 Nov 12;114(20):4422-31. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-06-227256. Epub 2009 Sep 17.


CD56+ human dendritic cells (DCs) have recently been shown to differentiate from monocytes in response to GM-CSF and type 1 interferon in vitro. We show here that CD56+ cells freshly isolated from human peripheral blood contain a substantial subset of CD14+CD86+HLA-DR+ cells, which have the appearance of intermediate-sized lymphocytes but spontaneously differentiate into enlarged DC-like cells with substantially increased HLA-DR and CD86 expression or into fully mature CD83+ DCs in response to appropriate cytokines. Stimulation of CD56+ cells containing both DCs and abundant gammadelta T cells with zoledronate and interleukin-2 (IL-2) resulted in the rapid expansion of gammadelta T cells as well as in IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and IL-1beta but not in IL-4, IL-10, or IL-17 production. IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and IL-1beta production were almost completely abolished by depleting CD14+ cells from the CD56+ subset before stimulation. Likewise, depletion of CD14+ cells dramatically impaired gammadelta T-cell expansion. IFN-gamma production could also be blocked by neutralizing the effects of endogenous IL-1beta and TNF-alpha. Conversely, addition of recombinant IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, or both further enhanced IFN-gamma production and strongly up-regulated IL-6 production. Our data indicate that CD56+ DCs from human blood are capable of stimulating CD56+ gammadelta T cells, which may be harnessed for immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD56 Antigen / immunology*
  • CD56 Antigen / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / immunology
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*


  • CD56 Antigen
  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta