Editorial - Introductory Overview: γδ T-Cells at the Cross-Road of Innate and Adaptive Immunity

Dieter KabelitzInstitute of Immunology UK S-H Campus Kiel Arnold-Heller-Str. 3Haus 17 D-24105 KielGermanyE-mail: Email: kabelitz@immunologie.uni-kiel.de

© 2009 Dieter Kabelitz et al.;

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γδ T-lymphocytes are a numerically small subset of T-lymphocytes which differ from conventional αβ T-lymphocytes primarily in respect to the ligands recognized by the T-cell antigen receptor. In this regard, human γδ T-cells differ significantly from their murine counterpart, because only human but not mouse γδ T-cells recognize small phosphorylated metabolites that are produced by many bacteria and parasites, but also by transformed eukaryotic cells. γδ T-cells contribute to local immune surveillance and are involved in immune defense against infection and tumor formation. Based on their potent anti-tumor activity, immunotherapeutic protocols aimed at the activation of tumor-reactive γδ T-cells have entered clinical studies..