The biologic role and repertoire of cells bearing the gamma delta T cell receptor has not been fully defined. However, their tropism for epithelial microenvironments is recognized and suggests an important role for these cells in immune defense at mucosal tissue surfaces. The study presented below utilizes an experimental model in which repeated exposure of Brown Norway rats to OVA by inhalation induces a state of Ag-specific, IgE isotype-specific "tolerance" via immune deviation. This process seems similar to oral tolerance in the gut. This form of tolerance was adoptively transferred to naive syngeneic recipients by i.p. injection of as few as 10(3) positively selected TCR-gamma delta+ cells from OVA-exposed rats. These TCR-gamma delta+ T-cells are demonstrated to produce high levels of INF-gamma in response to OVA stimulation, and this provides a potential mechanism for the inhibition of Th2 cell proliferation, resulting in suppression of IgE production. The unique potency of these cells in selective suppression of IgE Ab production in response to natural "mucosal" Ag exposure suggests a potentially important role in protection against primary allergic sensitization in vivo.

This content is only available via PDF.