Abstract of Seminar: Thursday 10th December 1998 (4.30pm)

Dr. Adrian Smith
Division of Immunology, IAH Compton Laboratory.
"TCR Gamma-delta T-cell Function in Response to a Natural Infection of the Small Intestine."

Importance of gamma delta T-cells.

T-cells recognize cells infected with viruses/pathogens and kill them (cytotoxic T-cells), or co-ordinate an immune response against the virus/pathogen (T-cell help). T-cells do not recognize whole viruses, but recognize peptides derived from viral proteins synthesized in infected cells. These peptides are transported to the surface of cells by MHC molecules, and presented to T-cells as peptide/MHC complexes.

There are two types of T-cell, alpha beta T-cells and gamma delta T-cells. The alpha beta T-cells are the best characterized and function as described above. Less is known about the gamma delta T-cells. It is not clear what they recognize and interestingly, hey are found in peripheral sites, such as the skin and in the gut. It is thought that they may form part of the early "innate" immune resonse to pathogens.

Adrian Smith studied gamma delta T-cells for several years at Yale University. He will give an overview of what is known about gamma delta T-cell biology, and describe the application of this work to the Eimeria program at Compton.

For any further information please contact Tom Wileman.