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Antigens in Tea-Beverage Prime Human Vγ2Vδ2 T Cells in vitro and in vivo for Memory and Nonmemory Antibacterial Cytokine Responses

Arati B. Kamath, Lisheng Wang, Hiranmoy Das, Lin Li, Vernon N. Reinhold and Jack F. Bukowski
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 100, No. 10 (May 13, 2003), pp. 6009-6014
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3147533
Page Count: 6
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Antigens in Tea-Beverage Prime Human Vγ2Vδ2 T Cells in vitro and in vivo for Memory and Nonmemory Antibacterial Cytokine Responses
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Abstract

Human γδ T cells mediate innate immunity to microbes via T cell receptor-dependent recognition of unprocessed antigens with conserved molecular patterns. These nonpeptide alkylamine antigens are shared by tumor cells, bacteria, parasites, and fungi but also by edible plant products such as tea, apples, mushrooms, and wine. Here we show that priming of γδ T cells with alkylamine antigens in vitro results in a memory response to these antigens. Such priming results also in a nonmemory response to whole bacteria and to lipopolysaccharide, characterized by IL-12-dependent secretion of IFN-γ by γδ T cells and by γδ T cell proliferation. Drinking tea, which contains L-theanine, a precursor of the non-peptide antigen ethylamine, primed peripheral blood γδ T cells to mediate a memory response on reexposure to ethylamine and to secrete IFN-γ in response to bacteria. This unique combination of innate immune response and immunologic memory shows that γδ T cells can function as a bridge between innate and acquired immunity. In addition, these data provide an explanation for the health benefits of tea.

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