Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Involvement of Notch in activation and effector functions of γδ T cells.

PMID 24489102


Notch signaling plays a pivotal role in cell fate decision and lineage commitment of lymphocytes. Although the role of Notch in CD4(+) and CD8(+) αβ T cells is well documented, there are no reports on how Notch signaling regulates effector functions of γδ T cells. γδ T cells are a minor fraction in the peripheral blood but are known to play a major role in defense against pathogens and tumors. In this study, we show that Notch receptors (mRNA and protein) are expressed in peripheral γδ T cells. Inhibition of Notch signaling by γ-secretase inhibitor inhibited the proliferation and IFN-γ secretion of γδ T cells in response to stimulation with phosphoantigens and anti-CD3 mAb. In the presence of γ-secretase inhibitor, the antitumor cytolytic ability of γδ T cells was inhibited with a decreased CD107a expression. Knockdown of Notch1 and Notch2 genes in γδ T cells using small interfering RNA inhibited their antitumor cytotoxic potential. Our study describes for the first time, to our knowledge, the role of Notch as an additional signal contributing to Ag-specific effector functions of γδ T cells.