Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
SCAND J IMMUNOL
Journal title long:
Scandinavian journal of immunology : the official journal of the Scandinavian Society for Immunology
γδ T cells play an important role in anti-infective immunity. The major subset of human γδ T cells selectively recognizes phosphorylated bacterial metabolites of the isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway, so-called phosphoantigens. The activation of γδ T cells is modulated by functionally expressed innate immune receptors, notably Toll-like receptor 2 and 3. It was also reported that in vitro expanded γδ T cells respond to muramyl dipeptide (MDP), the minimal peptidoglycan motif activating the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing 2 (NOD2) receptor, although it is unknown whether ex vivo isolated human γδ T cells express functional NOD2. Here, we report that freshly isolated, highly purified peripheral blood γδ T cells express NOD2 mRNA and detectable amounts of NOD2 protein. The biologically active MDP L-D isomer but not the inactive D-D isomer augmented the interferon-γ (IFN-γ) secretion in phosphoantigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Moreover, a moderate but reproducible and statistically significant increase in IFN-γ secretion was also observed when highly purified peripheral blood γδ T cells were activated by T cell receptor cross-linking in the presence of MDP. Taken together, our results indicate that in addition to the T cell receptor and Toll-like receptors, circulating human γδ T cells express NOD2 as a third class of pattern recognition receptor for sensing bacterial products.