In vivo response of murine γδ T cells to a heat shock protein-derived peptide

Yang Xin Fu, Robin Cranfill, Michaelann Vollmer, Ruurd Van Der Zee, Rebecca L. O'Brien, Willi Born

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Recent results suggested that a large subset of heat shock protein HSP-60 reactive peripheral lymphoid γδ T cells preexists in normal adult mice, all members of which respond to a single segment of this common HSP. However, the experimental evidence supporting this idea involved in vitro peptide responses of γδ T-cell hybridomas generated from unprimed spleen cells. Here, we report an attempt to elicit a γδ T-cell response in vivo by stimulation of adult C57BL/10 mice with HSP-60 or an HSP-60-derived peptide fragment comprising amino acids 180-196 of mycobacterial HSP-60. Whereas no γδ T-cell response was detectable in mice injected with the intact protein, stimulation with the peptide altered the reactive γδ T-cell population in vivo. These changes were detected among hybridomas generated with cells restimulated in vitro and included a large increase in hybridizable γδ T cells, a nearly maximal increase in the relative frequency of HSP-60-reactive cells, and structural changes in expressed T-cell receptors of HSP-60-reactive cells. Interestingly, we failed to elicit a detectable γβ T-cell response to the particular peptide stimulatory for γδ T cells, although at least three other HSP-60 epitopes were recognized. Our data show that normal γδ T cells can respond in vivo to small peptide antigens. The γδ T-cell response to the HSP-60-derived peptide studied here is apparently independent of antigen-specific αβ T-cell reactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-326
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

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