Gammadelta T cells: Functional plasticity and heterogeneity

Simon R Carding, Paul J Egan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

678 Citations (Scopus)


Gammadelta T cells remain an enigma. They are capable of generating more unique antigen receptors than alphabeta T cells and B cells combined, yet their repertoire of antigen receptors is dominated by specific subsets that recognize a limited number of antigens. A variety of sometimes conflicting effector functions have been ascribed to them, yet their biological function(s) remains unclear. On the basis of studies of gammadelta T cells in infectious and autoimmune diseases, we argue that gammadelta T cells perform different functions according to their tissue distribution, antigen-receptor structure and local microenvironment; we also discuss how and at what stage of the immune response they become activated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-345
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2002


  • Animals
  • Autoantigens
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Cell Lineage
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Infection
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • T-Lymphocytes

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