The CD8+ granzyme B+ T-cell subset in peripheral blood from healthy individuals contains activated and apoptosis-prone cells

P C Wever, H J Van Der Vliet, L H Spaeny, A M Wolbink, F N Van Diepen, C J Froelich, C E Hack, I J ten Berge

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Granzyme B (GrB) has been implicated in induction of apoptosis in target cells. The presence of GrB in peripheral blood CD8+ T cells from healthy individuals was analysed in immunocytochemical and flow cytometric studies. Furthermore, CD8+ GrB- T cells and CD8+ GrB+ T cells were compared regarding phenotypical characteristics and susceptibility to both spontaneous and Fasmediated apoptosis. GrB was expressed by approximately one-fifth of CD8+ T cells. Compared with the CD8+ GrB- T-cell subset, the CD8+ GrB+ T-cell subset contained cells that were relatively more activated and more prone to spontaneous apoptosis. Culturing of cells with immunoglobulin M (IgM) anti-Fas monoclonal antibody had no additional effect on the number of CD8+ GrB+ T cells undergoing apoptosis. We suggest that the presence of CD8+ GrB+ T cells in peripheral blood from healthy individuals results from immune surveillance or contact with infectious agents, and that spontaneous apoptosis of these cells might serve as a mechanism for their eventual clearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-9
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998

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