The Ambiguous Role of γδ T Lymphocytes in Antitumor Immunity.


Chitadze G, Oberg HH, Wesch D, Kabelitz D


Trends Immunol

Year of publication:



2017 Sep;38(9):668-678



Impact factor:


γδ T cells play a role in immune surveillance because they recognize stress-induced surface molecules and metabolic intermediates that are frequently dysregulated in transformed cells. Hence, γδ T cells have attracted much interest as effector cells in cell-based immunotherapy. Recently, however, it has been realized that γδ T cells can also promote tumorigenesis through various mechanisms including regulatory activity and IL-17 production. In this review we outline both the pathways involved in cancer cell recognition and killing by γδ T cells as well as current evidence for their protumorigenic activity in various models. Finally, we discuss strategies to improve the tumor reactivity of γδ T cells and to counteract their protumorigenic activities, which should open improved perspectives for their clinical application.

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