This most comprehensive analysis to date of γδ T cells in the murine uterus reveals them to compose a unique local T-cell compartment. Consistent with earlier reports, most cells expressed a canonical Vγ6Vδ1 TCR, and produced interleukin (IL)-17A upon stimulation. Nonetheless, contrasting with earlier reports, uterine γδ T cells were not obviously intraepithelial, being more akin to sub-epithelial Vγ6Vδ1+ T cells at several other anatomical sites. By contrast to other tissues however, the uterine compartment also included non-Vγ6+, IFN-γ-producing cells; was strikingly enriched in young mice; expressed genes hitherto associated with the uterus, including the progesterone receptor; and did not require microbes for development and/or maintenance. This notwithstanding, γδ T-cell deficiency severely impaired resistance to reproductive tract infection by Candida albicans, associated with decreased responses of IL-17-dependent neutrophils. These findings emphasise tissue-specific complexities of different mucosal γδ cell compartments, and their evident importance in lymphoid stress-surveillance against barrier infection.
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