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Title: CD161+ Gamma Delta T-cells in health and liver disease
Author: Rajoriya, Neil
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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CD161 γδ T-cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis however their role in health and chronic liver disease requires further exploration. In health, the majority of γδ T-cells expressed CD161 – a C-type lectin, and predominantly expressed the Vδ2 chain. The CD161+ γδ T-cells demonstrated a Th1-like pattern, expressing IFN-γ, TNF-α and Granzymes/Perforin when compared to the CD161- subset. The CD161+ γδ T-cells also expressed CCR6 and IL-18R thus also displaying a Th17-like pattern. These cells were also found in the lamina propria in the gut and rapidly expanded in the 1st few weeks of life in the periphery. On gene array analysis, there were 409 genes expressed on the CD161+ γδ T-cells when compared to their CD161-ve counterparts including those coding for β2 receptors, CCL20, Acetycholinesterase, CCR1 and IL-18R. A potential clinical correlation to cardiac diseases was found when the upregulated genes were analysed. When the CD161+ γδ and CD161+ αβ T-cell populations were compared via gene-array, an association with a risk variant for coeliac disease was found. Thus in health, CD161+ γδ T-cells are not only a distinct subset of T-cells (confirmed by a FACS approach and gene array methods), but also the expression of CD161 may be linked to common genetic signals downstream in cell processes and disease pathogenesis, irrespective of T-cell subset population. In chronic liver disease there was a significant reduction in the periphery of CD161+ γδ T-cells in patients with chronic Hepatitis C (HCV) and an increase in patients with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis when compared with healthy individuals. The CD161+ γδ T-cells appeared to be of a different phenotype in HCV infection. There was no overall significant localisation into of CD161+ γδ T-cells patients with chronic liver disease or specifically in HCV infection. There was however a CD161+ γδ T-cell enrichment in the liver in patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease. The CD161+ γδ T-cells were also found in Hepatocellular Carcinoma tissue. Overall it appears the CD161+ γδ T-cells are indeed a unique subset, playing a distinct role in health, as part of an early innate response, but also potentially involved in disease pathogenesis.
Supervisor: Klenerman, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medical sciences ; Immunology ; Gamma delta T-cells