V delta 2+ gamma delta T lymphocytes are cytotoxic to the MCF 7 breast carcinoma cell line and can be detected among the T cells that infiltrate breast tumors

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1993 Apr;67(1):17-24. doi: 10.1006/clin.1993.1040.


In order to study the potential role of gamma delta T lymphocytes in cytotoxicity against breast carcinoma cells, normal peripheral blood gamma delta cells were isolated and triggered with an alloantigenic lymphoblastoid B cell line and recombinant interleukin-2 and cloned. The clones expressed a CD3+V gamma 9+V delta 2+CD4-CD8- (or CD8+) phenotype. Five clones were cytotoxic to the Molt 4 T cell leukemia, but not to the alloantigen, whereas one clone lysed the alloantigen, but not the Molt 4 line. Clones that were cytotoxic to Molt 4 were either spontaneously cytotoxic against MCF 7 breast carcinoma cells or could be induced to kill MCF 7 cells by monoclonal antibodies specific for the gamma delta T cell receptor. In situ staining demonstrated that V delta 2+ as well as other subsets of gamma delta T cells can be detected in the lymphocytic infiltrate within breast carcinomas. These data showing that V delta 2+ T cells can recognize and kill cells of breast carcinoma lineage in vitro, and that cells expressing V delta 2 genes in their T cell receptor structure can be detected in the tumor, suggest that further studies of the nature of the interactions between V delta 2 T cells and breast carcinoma cells are warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Clone Cells / immunology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / analysis*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta