Epithelia Use Butyrophilin-like Molecules to Shape Organ-Specific γδ T Cell Compartments

Rafael Di Marco Barros, Natalie A. Roberts, Robin J. Dart, Pierre Vantourout, Anett Jandke, Oliver Nussbaumer, Livija Deban, Sara Cipolat, Rosie Hart, Maria Iannitto, Adam Laing, Bradley Spencer-Dene, Philip East, Deena Gibbons, Peter M. Irving, Pablo Pereira, Ulrich Steinhoff, Adrian Hayday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Citations (Scopus)
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Summary: Many body surfaces harbor organ-specific gd T cell compartments that contribute to tissue integrity. Thus, murine dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs) uniquely expressing T cell receptor (TCR)-Vg5 chains protect from cutaneous carcinogens. The DETC repertoire is shaped by Skint1, a butyrophilin-like (Btnl) gene expressed specifically by thymic epithelial
cells and suprabasal keratinocytes. However, the generality of this mechanism has remained opaque, since neither Skint1 nor DETCs are evolutionarily conserved. Here, Btnl1 expressed by murine enterocytes is shown to shape the local TCR-Vg7+ gd compartment. Uninfluenced bymicrobial or food antigens, this activity evokes the developmental selection of TCRab+ repertoires. Indeed, Btnl1 and Btnl6 jointly induce TCR-dependent responses specifically in intestinal Vg7+ cells. Likewise, humangut epithelial cells express BTNL3 and BTNL8 that jointly induce selective TCR-dependent responses of human colonic Vg4+ cells. Hence, a conserved mechanism emerges whereby epithelia use organ-specific BTNL/Btnl genes to shape local T cell compartments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-218.e17
Issue number1
Early online date15 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2016


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