Isolation and flow cytometric analysis of human endocervical gamma delta T cells

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3 Scopus citations


The female reproductive tract (FRT) mucosal immune system serves as the first line of defense. Better knowledge of the genital mucosa is therefore essential for understanding pathogenicity of different pathogens including HIV. Gamma delta (GD) T cells are the prototype of ‘unconventional’ T cells and represent a relatively small subset of T cells defined by their expression of heterodimeric T-cell receptors (TCRs) composed of gamma and delta chains. This sets them apart from the classical and much better known CD4+ helper T cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells that are defined by alpha-beta TCRs. GD T cells often show tissue-specific localization and are enriched in epithelium. GD T cells orchestrate immune responses in inflammation, tumor surveillance, infectious disease, and autoimmunity. Here, we present a method to reproducibly isolate and analyze human endocervical intraepithelial GD T lymphocytes. We have used endocervical cytobrush samples from women participating in the Women’s Interagency HIV Infection Study (WIHS). Knowledge about GD T cells interactions during conditions in which there is an insult to the vaginal mucosal could be applied to any clinical study in which mucosal vulnerability is addressed, including the development of vaginal microbicides.In addition, knowledge about mucosal GD T cell responses has potential for application of GD T cell-based immune therapy in treating infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55038
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number120
StatePublished - Feb 6 2017


  • Endocervix
  • Female reproductive tract
  • Gamma delta T cells
  • HIV
  • Immunology
  • Intraepithelial lymphocytes
  • Issue 120
  • Mucosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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