Effector Memory T Lymphocytes Can Express FcRiiia and Mediate Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity

Clemenceau, B.; Vivien, R.; Berthome, M.; Robillard, N.; Garand, R.; Gallot, G.; Vollant, S.; Vie, H.

The Journal of Immunology 180(8): 5327-5334


DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.180.8.5327
Accession: 068491010

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Human memory T cells are comprised of distinct populations with different homing potential and effector functions: central memory T cells that mount recall responses to Ags in secondary lymphoid organs, and effector memory T cells that confer immediate protection in peripheral tissues. In the present study we demonstrate that a proportion of effector memory T cells express FcgammaRIIIa (CD16), are perforin positive, and directly mediate Ab-dependent cytotoxicity ex vivo. This particular alphabeta T lymphocyte subset has the morphology of large granular lymphocytes, increases proportionately in vivo during reactive lymphocytosis, and can be detected in vitro among EBV-specific T lymphocytes after stimulation with EBV Ags. Consequently, during a normal immune response, amplification of these effector memory T lymphocytes that are capable of Ab-dependent cytotoxicity may have beneficial or harmful consequences depending on the presence of pathogen- or tissue-specific Abs, respectively.