Sequential appearance of T-cell receptor γδ- and αβ-bearing intestinal intra-epithelial lymphocytes in mice after irradiation

Y. Yoshikai, A. Ishida, S. Murosaki, T. Ando, K. Nomoto

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    We have previously reported that T-cell receptor (TcR) γδ-bearing T cells precede TcR αβ-bearing T cells in appearance in the thymus after whole-body irradiation. In the present study, the kinetics of appearance of intestinal intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IEL) was examined in mice after whole-body irradiation with a lethal dose of 9.5 Gy or with a sublethal dose of 6 Gy. The number of CD3+ IEL decreased to the lowest value 4 days after irradiation with 9.5 Gy, and thereafter increased to half as many as the normal level by day 7. Thy-1+TcRαβ- IEL and Thy-TcRαβ-IEL recovered considerably by day 7 after the irradiation, whereas Thy-1+TcRαβ+ IEL and Thy-1+TcRαβ+ IEL hardly recovered at this stage. All mice died within 12 days after irradiation with a lethal dose of 9.5 Gy. On the other hand, when irradiation dose was decreased to 6 Gy, all mice survived beyond 40 days after irradiation. Thc number of CD3+ IEL recovered to the normal level by 10 days after irradiation with 6 Gy. Consistently with the results in mice irradiated with a lethal dose, the first cells to increase in IEL of mice irradiated with a sublethal dose were TcRγδ + IEL expressing Thy-1 antigen. The number of Thy-1+TcRγδ + IEL increased to approximately two-fold as many as that in normal mice by day 10, while TcRαβ+ IEL began to increase in number from day 20 after irradiation and recovered to the normal level by day 40 after irradiation. Thus, sequential appearance of TcRγδ+ and TcRαβ+ IEL was evident after irradiation, similar to that seen in the thymus after irradiation. The IEL on day 10 after a sublethal irradiation, which is composed mainly of Thy-1+TcRγδ+ IEL, exhibited a strong cytolytic activity against P815 in the presence of anti-CD3 mAb, suggesting that the early appearing Thy-1+TcRγδ+ IEL may play important roles in epithelial immunity at an early stage after irradiation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)583-588
    Number of pages6
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1991

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology


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