Phenotypic characterization of gammadelta T cells mobilized in response to acute psychological stress.

Leila Anane, KM Edwards, Victoria Burns, Joachimina Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Mark Drayson, Jos Bosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Gamma Delta (gammadelta) T lymphocytes are versatile cells that play key roles in a number of functions, including bacterial clearance, wound repair, and delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions. Recently we showed that these cells are mobilized into the blood during acute psychological stress. gammadelta T lymphocytes are a heterogeneous population of cells, and the current study aimed to characterize the effects of stress on distinct gammadelta T cell populations. Twenty nine healthy participants completed a 12 minute speech task. Blood samples were taken after a resting baseline, during the last two minutes of the task, and after a 15 minute recovery period. Flow cytometry was used to investigate the response of memory phenotypes (i.e. Naïve, Central memory, Effector Memory, and CD45RA(+) Effector Memory (EMRA)) within the delta1 and delta2 gammadelta T cell populations. Cells were further analysed on expression of adhesion molecules (CD11a, CD62L) and the NK receptor CD94. Both the delta1 and delta2 subsets were mobilized during stress, and for both subsets, EMRA cells were mobilized to a much greater extent than the other memory phenotypes. Analysis of migration markers revealed that mobilized cells had a predominantly tissue migrating phenotype (CD11a(hi)CD62L(lo/neg)) and expressed high levels of the NK receptor CD94. The current findings indicate that stress primarily mobilizes gammadelta memory cells that have high cytotoxic capability, tissue homing potential, and the capacity for rapid, innate-like target recognition. This selective mobilization possibly provides protection in contexts when tissue damage and antigen exposure are more likely to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-14
Number of pages7
JournalBrain, Behaviour, and Immunity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2010


  • gamma delta T lymphocytes
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Antibody
  • T cell memory
  • Lymphocytosis
  • Immunosurveillance
  • Stress
  • Eccentric exercise
  • Behavioural adjuvant
  • Migration


Dive into the research topics of 'Phenotypic characterization of gammadelta T cells mobilized in response to acute psychological stress.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this