The role played in immune surveillance by gamma delta T cells residing in various epithelia has not been clear. It is shown here that activated gamma delta T cells obtained from skin and intestine express the epithelial cell mitogen keratinocyte growth factor (KGF). In contrast, intraepithelial alpha beta T cells, as well as all lymphoid alpha beta and gamma delta T cell populations tested, did not produce KGF or promote the growth of cultured epithelial cells. These results suggest that intraepithelial gamma delta T cells function in surveillance and in repair of damaged epithelial tissues.
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