Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 8378313
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1993 Sep;90(18):8415-9
To obtain a homogeneous population of gamma delta T cells to investigate their role in an immune response, we have made a scid mouse doubly transgenic for rearranged gamma and delta genes. The receptor (KN6) encoded by these genes is specific for the major histocompatibility complex class I protein encoded by the T22b gene. This mouse contains high levels of transgenic gamma delta T cells in the spleen and thymus and no other T lymphocytes. Immunization of these KN6-scid (H-2d, TLd) mice with 10(7) C57BL/6J (abbreviated B6) (H-2b, TLb) spleen cells resulted in proliferation and activation of the gamma delta T cells in spleen and clearing of the allogeneic B6 lymphocytes. Subsequently, the majority of activated cells died by apoptosis and the remaining cells were anergic with regard to proliferation. The anergic cells did not respond to restimulation by B6 spleen cells in vitro or in vivo, and addition of exogenous interleukin 2 failed to restore the response to B6 cells. Cytotoxicity, a property of KN6+ cells during a primary stimulation, was no longer detectable in the proliferatively anergic cells. However, B6 spleen cells injected into mice primed 12 days previously were cleared with a much greater efficiency than on primary challenge and in an antigen-specific manner. We conclude that after exposure to antigen, gamma delta T cells rapidly proliferate into blasts; the majority of the blasts rapidly die, with the nonproliferating cells remaining in a highly active state for several weeks and able to initiate elimination of lymphoid cells bearing the TLb epitope.