Cutting edge: Protective response to pulmonary injury requires γδ T lymphocytes

Donald P. King, Dallas M. Hyde, Kenneth A. Jackson, Denise M. Novosad, Terri N. Ellis, Lei Putney, Mary Y. Stovall, Laura S. Van Winkle, Blaine L. Beaman, David A. Ferrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


γδ intraepithelial lymphocytes are thought to coordinate responses to pathogens that penetrate the epithelial barrier. To directly test this, mice were inoculated with Nocardia asteroides. At doses that were nonlethal for control mice, γδ-deficient mice became severely ill and died within 14 days. Histologic examination of these lungs demonstrated the presence of severe tissue damage and unimpeded bacterial growth in the γδ-deficient mice compared with neutrophilic lesions and clearance of the organism in control mice. Interestingly, ozone exposure that targets a comparable lung region also resulted in diffuse epithelial necrosis associated with a similar lack of neutrophil recruitment in γδ-deficient mice. These data demonstrate that γδ intraepithelial lymphocytes can protect the host from pathogenic and nonpathogenic insults by targeting the inflammatory response to epithelial necrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5033-5036
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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