Identification of CD25+ γδ T cells as fetal thymus-derived naturally occurring IL-17 producers

Kensuke Shibata, Hisakata Yamada, Risa Nakamura, Xun Sun, Momoe Itsumi, Yasunobu Yoshikai

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138 Citations (Scopus)


We previously reported that resident γδ T cells in the peritoneal cavity rapidly produced IL-17 in response to Escherichia coli infection to mobilize neutrophils. We found in this study that the IL-17-producing γδ T cells did not produce IFN-γ or IL-4, similar to Th17 cells. IL-17-producing γδ T cells specifically express CD25 but not CD122, whereas CD122+ γδ T cells produced IFN-γ. IL-17-producing γδ T cells were decreased but still present in IL-2- or CD25-deficient mice, suggesting a role of IL-2 for their maintenance. IFN-γ-producing CD122+ γδ T cells were selectively decreased in IL-15-deficient mice. Surprisingly, IL-17-producing γδ T cells were already detected in the thymus, although CD25 was not expressed on the intrathymic IL-17-producing γδ T cells. The number of thymic IL-17-producing γδ T cells was peaked at perinatal period and decreased thereafter, coincided with the developmental kinetics of Vγ6+Vδ1+ γδ T cells. The number of IL-17-producing γδ T cells was decreased in fetal thymus of Vδ1-deficient mice, whereas Vγ5 + fetal thymocytes in normal mice did not produce IL-17. Thus, it was revealed that the fetal thymus-derived Vγ6+Vδ1 + T cells functionally differentiate to produce IL-17 within thymus and thereafter express CD25 to be maintained in the periphery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5940-5947
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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