Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The T-cell receptor zeta (TCRzeta) chain is a master sensor and regulator of lymphocyte responses. Loss of TCRzeta expression has been documented in infectious, inflammatory, and malignant diseases, suggesting that it may serve to limit T-cell reactivity and effector responses at sites of tissue damage. These observations prompted us to explore the relationship between TCRzeta expression and effector function in T cells. We report here that TCRzeta(dim) lymphocytes are enriched for antigen-experienced cells refractory to TCR-induced proliferation. Compared to their TCRzeta(bright) counterparts, TCRzeta(dim) cells share characteristics of differentiated effector T cells but use accessory pathways for transducing signals for inflammatory cytokine gene expression and cell contact-dependent pathways to activate monocytes. TCRzeta(dim) T cells accumulate in inflamed tissues in vivo and have intrinsic migratory activity in vitro. Whilst blocking leukocyte trafficking with anti-TNF therapy in vivo is associated with the accumulation of TCRzeta(dim) T cells in peripheral blood, this T-cell subset retains the capacity to migrate in vitro. Taken together, the functional properties of TCRzeta(dim) T cells make them promising cellular targets for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





4328 - 4335


Adult, Animals, Arthritis, Psoriatic, Arthritis, Reactive, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, CHO Cells, Cell Movement, Cricetinae, Cricetulus, Flow Cytometry, Fluorescence, Humans, Inflammation, Lymphocyte Subsets, Membrane Proteins, Middle Aged, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, T-Lymphocytes, Transfection