Data_Sheet_1_γδT Cells Suppress Liver Fibrosis via Strong Cytolysis and Enhanced NK Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity Against Hepatic Stellate Cells.doc

Liver fibrosis is the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins, resulting from maladaptive wound healing responses to chronic liver injury. γδT cells are important in chronic liver injury pathogenesis and subsequent liver fibrosis; however, their role and underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. The present study aims to assess whether γδT cells contribute to liver fibrosis regression. Using a carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced murine model of liver fibrosis in wild-type (WT) and γδT cell deficient (TCRδ−/−) mice, we demonstrated that γδT cells protected against liver fibrosis and exhibited strong cytotoxicity against activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Further study show that chronic liver inflammation promoted hepatic γδT cells to express NKp46, which contribute to the direct killing of activated HSCs by γδT cells. Moreover, we identified that an IFNγ-producing γδT cell subset (γδT1) cells exhibited stronger cytotoxicity against activated HSCs than the IL-17-producing subset (γδT17) cells upon chronic liver injury. In addition, γδT cells promoted the anti-fibrotic ability of conventional natural killer (cNK) cells and liver-resident NK (lrNK) cells by enhancing their cytotoxicity against activated HSCs. The cell crosstalk between γδT and NK cells was shown to depend partly on co-stimulatory receptor 4-1BB (CD137) engagement. In conclusion, our data confirmed the protective effects of γδT cells, especially the γδT1 subset, by directly killing activated HSCs and increasing NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity against activated HSCs in CCl4-induced liver fibrosis, which suggest valuable therapeutic targets to treat liver fibrosis.