Gammadelta T cell effector functions: a blend of innate programming and acquired plasticity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2010 Jul;10(7):467-78. doi: 10.1038/nri2781. Epub 2010 Jun 11.


Gammadelta T cells have several innate cell-like features that allow their early activation following recognition of conserved stress-induced ligands. Here we review recent observations revealing the ability of gammadelta T cells to rapidly produce cytokines that regulate pathogen clearance, inflammation and tissue homeostasis in response to tissue stress. These studies provide insights into how they acquire these properties, through both developmental programming in the thymus and functional polarization in the periphery. Innate features of gammadelta T cells underlie their non-redundant role in several physiopathological contexts and are therefore being exploited in the design of new immunotherapeutic approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunotherapy
  • Infections / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Cooperation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Stress, Physiological
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


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