Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) remains a global health problem with a significant percentage of patients progressing to chronic inflammation and colitis-associated cancer (CAC). Whether or not γδ T cells contribute to initiation and maintenance of inflammation in IBD and in the development of CAC is not known. We have evaluated the frequency, phenotype, and functions of γδ T cells among tissue-infiltrating lymphocytes in healthy donors and IBD and CAC patients. Results show that Vδ1 T cells are the dominant γδ T-cell population in healthy tissue, whereas Vδ2 T significantly abound in chronic IBD. Vδ2 T cells produce more IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-17 than Vδ1 T cells in chronic inflamed IBD. In CAC patients no significant cytokine production was detected in tissue-resident Vδ1 T cells, but Vδ2 T cells produced remarkable amounts of IFN-γ and TNF-α; these data were confirmed by the analysis of an independent cohort of IBD transcriptomes. Moreover, transcriptomes of IBD patients revealed a clear-cut clusterization of genes related with the maintenance of the inflammatory status. In conclusion, our results demonstrating that Vδ2 T cells have a proinflammatory profile in chronic IBD are suggestive of their participation in IBD and CAC pathogenesis.
- Immunology and Allergy
- Cell Biology