Stimulation of a major subset of lymphocytes expressing T cell receptor gamma delta by an antigen derived from Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Cell. 1989 May 19;57(4):667-74. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(89)90135-9.


To investigate the possible function(s) of T cell receptor (TcR) gamma delta expressing lymphocytes, we generated a series of gamma delta TcR surface positive hybridomas. Spontaneous producers of IL-2 were quite common among these hybridomas, particularly those expressing a certain V delta gene or gene family (V delta M23). Several other experiments indicated that IL-2 production in these hybridomas is triggered via TcR gamma delta. Surprisingly, every spontaneously reactive gamma delta+ hybridoma was further stimulated by purified protein derivative (PPD) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, perhaps due to crossreaction with a bacterial antigen homologous to certain eukaryotic heat shock proteins. The finding of an antigen recognized by a gamma delta TcR could aid in understanding the functional role of the gamma delta TcR+ lymphocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / physiology
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / pharmacology
  • Hybridomas / cytology
  • Hybridomas / metabolism
  • Hybridomas / ultrastructure
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / classification
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Tuberculin / pharmacology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Tuberculin