Role of gammadelta T lymphocytes in the development of Behçet's disease

Clin Exp Immunol. 1997 Feb;107(2):241-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1997.274-ce1159.x.


Phenotypic and functional properties of gammadelta T cells, which play an important role in mucocutaneous immunity, were examined to elucidate whether immunological abnormality in Behcet's disease may be related to a specific T cell population. We found that CD45RA+ Vgamma9+ Vdelta2+ gammadelta T cells, which constitute a minor population of gammadelta T cells in healthy individuals, were increased in number in Behçet's disease irrespective of disease activity. This CD45RA+ subset of gammadelta T cells in the active, but not inactive, phase of this disease expressed IL-2Rbeta and HLA-DR, suggesting that they are activated in vivo in active Behçet's disease. In addition, the CD45RA+ gammadelta T cells produced extreme amounts of tumour necrosis factor and contained perforin granules. These data indicate that a phenotypically distinct subset of gammadelta T cells, CD45RA+ CD45RO- Vgamma9+ Vdelta2+, may contribute to immunological abnormalities which may lead to complexity of pathophysiology in Behçet's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behcet Syndrome / genetics*
  • Behcet Syndrome / immunology
  • Behcet Syndrome / pathology*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / chemistry
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Isomerism
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / chemistry
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Perforin
  • Phenotype
  • Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / genetics


  • Cytokines
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Perforin
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens