The kinetics of accumulation of T cells bearing the gamma delta heterodimer form of the T-cell receptor in mice infected with live Mycobacterium bovis BCG or M. tuberculosis was studied. Substantial numbers of gamma delta T cells accumulated in mice given primary mycobacterial infections, although this accumulation was in parallel to, but not preferential to, that of alpha beta receptor-bearing T cells. In contrast, no accumulation of gamma delta cells was observed in memory immune mice upon rechallenge, thus suggesting that gamma delta cells play no role in the anamnestic response. The results of the study show, further, that large accumulations of gamma delta T cells can also be induced by inoculation with oil adjuvant vehicles containing heat-killed mycobacteria, although not by inoculation of the heat-killed bacteria alone
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