γδ T cells can influence specific antibody responses. Here, we report that mice deficient in individual γδ T-cell subsets have altered levels of serum antibodies, including all major subclasses, sometimes regardless of the presence of αβ T cells. One strain with a partial γδ deficiency that increases IgE antibodies also displayed increases in IL-4–producing T cells (both residual γδ T cells and αβ T cells) and in systemic IL-4 levels. Its B cells expressed IL-4–regulated inhibitory receptors (CD5, CD22, and CD32) at diminished levels, whereas IL-4–inducible IL-4 receptor α and MHCII were increased. They also showed signs of activation and spontaneously formed germinal centers. These mice displayed IgE-dependent features found in hyper-IgE syndrome and developed antichromatin, antinuclear, and anticytoplasmic autoantibodies. In contrast, mice deficient in all γδ T cells had nearly unchanged Ig levels and did not develop autoantibodies. Removing IL-4 abrogated the increases in IgE, antichromatin antibodies, and autoantibodies in the partially γδ-deficient mice. Our data suggest that γδ T cells, controlled by their own cross-talk, affect IL-4 production, B-cell activation, and B-cell tolerance.
- gammadelta T cell