Allergic airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in OVA-sensitized and challenged mice, mediated by allergen-specific Th2 cells and Th2-like invariant NKT (iNKT) cells, develops under the influence of enhancing and inhibitory γδ T cells. The AHR-enhancing cells belong to the Vγ1+ γδ T cell subset, cells that are capable of increasing IL-5 and IL-13 levels in the airways in a manner like Th2 cells. They also synergize with iNKT cells in mediating AHR. However, unlike Th2 cells, the AHR enhancers arise in untreated mice, and we show here that they exhibit their functional bias already as thymocytes, at an HSAhigh maturational stage. In further contrast to Th2 cells and also unlike iNKT cells, they could not be stimulated to produce IL-4 and IL-13, consistent with their synergistic dependence on iNKT cells in mediating AHR. Mice deficient in IFN-γ, TNFRp75, or IL-4 did not produce these AHR-enhancing γδ T cells, but in the absence of IFN-γ, spontaneous development of these cells was restored by adoptive transfer of IFN-γ-competent dendritic cells from untreated donors. The i.p. injection of OVA/aluminum hydroxide restored development of the AHR enhancers in all of the mutant strains, indicating that the enhancers still can be induced when they fail to develop spontaneously, and that they themselves need not express TNFRp75, IFN-γ, or IL-4 to exert their function. We conclude that both the development and the cytokine potential of the AHR-enhancing γδ T cells differs critically from that of Th2 cells and NKT cells, despite similar influences of these cell populations on AHR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy