Immune Netw.  2020 Feb;20(1):e5. 10.4110/in.2020.20.e5.

Heterogeneity of Human γδ T Cells and Their Role in Cancer Immunity

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Hospital Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 03722, Korea.
  • 2Department of Immunology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon 16419, Korea. tjkim@skku.edu

Abstract

The γδ T cells are unconventional lymphocytes that function in both innate and adaptive immune responses against various intracellular and infectious stresses. The γδ T cells can be exploited as cancer-killing effector cells since γδ TCRs recognize MHC-like molecules and growth factor receptors that are upregulated in cancer cells, and γδ T cells can differentiate into cytotoxic effector cells. However, γδ T cells may also promote tumor progression by secreting IL-17 or other cytokines. Therefore, it is essential to understand how the differentiation and homeostasis of γδ T cells are regulated and whether distinct γδ T cell subsets have different functions. Human γδ T cells are classified into Vδ2 and non-Vδ2 γδ T cells. The majority of Vδ2 γδ T cells are Vγ9δ2 T cells that recognize pyrophosphorylated isoprenoids generated by the dysregulated mevalonate pathway. In contrast, Vδ1 T cells expand from initially diverse TCR repertoire in patients with infectious diseases and cancers. The ligands of Vδ1 T cells are diverse and include the growth factor receptors such as endothelial protein C receptor. Both Vδ1 and Vδ2 γδ T cells are implicated to have immunotherapeutic potentials for cancers, but the detailed elucidation of the distinct characteristics of 2 populations will be required to enhance the immunotherapeutic potential of γδ T cells. Here, we summarize recent progress regarding cancer immunology of human γδ T cells, including their development, heterogeneity, and plasticity, the putative mechanisms underlying ligand recognition and activation, and their dual effects on tumor progression in the tumor microenvironment.

Keyword

T-lymphocyte subsets; γδ T cell; T Cell Receptors, gamma delta; Tumor microenvironment

MeSH Terms

Allergy and Immunology
Communicable Diseases
Cytokines
Homeostasis
Humans*
Interleukin-17
Ligands
Lymphocytes
Mevalonic Acid
Plastics
Population Characteristics*
Protein C
Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
Receptors, Growth Factor
T-Lymphocyte Subsets
T-Lymphocytes*
Terpenes
Tumor Microenvironment
Cytokines
Interleukin-17
Ligands
Mevalonic Acid
Plastics
Protein C
Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
Receptors, Growth Factor
Terpenes
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