Multifunctional Immune Responses of HMBPP-specific Vγ2Vδ2 T Cells in M. Tuberculosis and Other Infections

Cell Mol Immunol. 2013 Jan;10(1):58-64. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2012.46. Epub 2012 Nov 12.


Vγ2Vδ2 T (also known as Vγ9Vδ2 T) cells exist only in primates, and in humans represent a major γδ T-cell sub-population in the total population of circulating γδ T cells. Results from recent studies suggest that while (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enyl pyrophosphate (HMBPP) phosphoantigen from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and other microbes activates and expands primate Vγ2Vδ2 T cells, the Vγ2Vδ2 T-cell receptor (TCR) recognizes and binds to HMBPP on antigen-presenting cells (APC). In response to HMBPP stimulus, Vγ2Vδ2 TCRs array to form signaling-related nanoclusters or nanodomains during the activation of Vγ2Vδ2 T cells. Primary infections with HMBPP-producing pathogens drive the evolution of multieffector functional responses in Vγ2Vδ2 T cells, although Vγ2Vδ2 T cells display different patterns of responses during the acute and chronic phases of Mtb infection and in other infections. Expanded Vγ2Vδ2 T cells in primary Mtb infection can exhibit a broader TCR repertoire and a greater clonal response than previously assumed, with different distribution patterns of Vγ2Vδ2 T-cell clones in lymphoid and non-lymphoid compartments. Emerging in vivo data suggest that HMBPP activation of Vγ2Vδ2 T cells appears to impact other immune cells during infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Organophosphates / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • 4-hydroxy-3-methyl-2-butenyl diphosphate
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Organophosphates
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta