Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : While γδ T cells are present virtually in all vertebrates, there is a remarkable lack of conservation of the TRG and TRD loci underlying the generation of the γδ T cell receptor (TCR), which is associated with the generation of species-specific γδ T cells. A prominent example is the human phosphoantigen-reactive Vγ9Vδ2 T cell subset that is absent in mice. Murine γδ thymocyte cells were among the first immune cells identified to follow a wave-based layered development during embryonic and early life, and since this initial observation, in-depth insight has been obtained in their thymic ontogeny. By contrast, less is known about the development of human γδ T cells, especially regarding the generation of γδ thymocyte waves. Here, after providing an overview of thymic γδ wave generation in several vertebrate classes, we review the evidence for γδ waves in the human fetal thymus, where single-cell technologies have allowed the breakdown of human γδ thymocytes into functional waves with important TCR associations. Finally, we discuss the possible mechanisms contributing to the generation of waves of γδ thymocytes and their possible significance in the periphery.