Tγδ-cell subsets in cord and adult blood

M. D. Smith, C. Worman, F. Yuksel, B. Yuksel, L. Moretta, E. Ciccone, C. E. Grossi, L. MacKenzie, P. M. Lydyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A minor population of T cells expresses a heterodimeric antigen receporr composed of γ and δ chains (TcR-1). In blood from adults, two subsets of Tγδ cells can be identified by the monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) BB3 and A13. Little is known about the distribution and markers of these subsets early in life. We have therefore examined both the frequencies of these cells in cord blood and their expression of the cytotoxicity-associated marker serine esterase (SE), using immunocytochemical techniques. Our data show lower percentage of TcR-1+ cells in the blood of newborns compared with that in adults. However, the ratio of the A13+/BB3+ cells was significantly higher in cord than in adult blood. Whereas virtually all the adult TcR-1+ cells in blood were SE-positive, only a small proportion of the cord blood cells carried this enzyme. This was restricted to the BB3+ Tγδ-cell subset in the cord. Our data suggest different characteristics of the TcR-1+ cells in blood from newborns compared with adult blood, and study of the functions of the different subsets, e.g. cytotoxicity, will be important in understanding their particular role in immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-495
Number of pages5
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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