Role of MicroRNAs in γδ T Cells

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MiRNAs play a role in regulating gene expression and influence the development, differentiation, and activation of γδ T cells. Through complex mechanisms, miRNAs fine-tune the balance between effector and regulatory functions within these cells.

Creative Biolabs explores the fascinating role of miRNAs in the world of γδ T cells, illustrating their far-reaching impact on immune function and potential therapeutic applications.


Recent studies have revealed the critical role of miRNAs in regulating the development, activation, and function of γδ T cells. MiRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that have emerged as key players in post-transcriptional gene regulation and have the potential to serve as valuable therapeutic targets for enhancing γδ T cell-mediated immunity.

The Role of miRNAs in γδ T Cells

  • Impact of miRNAs on γδ T Cell Development

    MiRNAs have been shown to play critical roles in the development and differentiation of γδ T cells. MiRNA expression profiles change dynamically at different stages of γδ T cell development, affecting lineage orientation and functional specialization.

    • For example, miR-181a has been identified as a key miRNA that promotes the transition of thymocytes from double-negative (DN) to double-positive (DP), which is a critical step in T cell development.
    • MiR-155 has been found to be critical for γδ T cell lineage stereotyping, as its defects lead to a bias in αβ T cell development in favor of γδ T cells.
  • MiRNAs in γδ T Cell Activation and Effector Functions

    In addition to development, miRNAs regulate the activation and effector functions of mature γδ T cells.

    • MiR-146a acts as a negative feedback regulator of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling in γδ T cells, inhibiting overactivation and pro-inflammatory cytokine production.
    • miR-23a enhances γδ T cell activation by targeting and inhibiting the expression of protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 6 (PTPN6), a negative regulator of T cell receptor signaling.
  • MiRNAs as Modulators of γδ T Cell Subsets

    Emerging evidence suggests that miRNAs play a role in shaping the functional diversity of γδ T cell subsets.

    • MiR-15a and miR-15b have been identified as regulators of the balance between Vγ1 and Vγ4 subsets in mice, with elevated levels of miR-15b promoting Vγ1 expansion at the expense of Vγ4 γδ T cells.
  • These findings highlight the intricate regulatory role of miRNAs in maintaining γδ T cell subset homeostasis.

The Role of miRNAs in γδ T CellsFig.1 The role of microRNAs in γδ T cells. (Chen, 2021)

Therapeutic Potential

  • Targeting MiRNAs to Modulate γδ T Cell Responses

Harnessing the potential of miRNAs to fine-tune γδ T cell responses holds promise for developing novel therapeutic approaches. Modulating specific miRNAs could enhance the activation, proliferation, and cytotoxicity of γδ T cells, thereby augmenting their protective or therapeutic effects.

  • MiRNA Replacement Therapy

For instance, miR-21 has been implicated in promoting the anti-inflammatory properties of γδ T cells. By delivering synthetic miR-21 mimics, it might be possible to enhance the regulatory functions of γδ T cells and ameliorate inflammatory conditions.

  • MiRNA Inhibition Strategies

By targeting miRNAs like miR-146a or miR-155, which negatively regulate γδ T cell activation, it might be feasible to unleash the full potential of γδ T cell responses in various disease contexts.

Harnessing the power of miRNAs, we have the potential to transform γδ T cells with enhanced cytotoxicity to fight malignant tumors or enhanced regulatory functions to quell autoimmune diseases. Creative Biolabs is at the forefront of this scientific quest, and we are leveraging our expertise to unlock the mysteries of these tiny molecules and their impact on immune regulation.


  1. Chen H, et al. The role of microRNAs in γδ T cells: a long way to go. Cellular & Molecular Immunology, 2021, 18(8): 2071-2072.
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