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Hu, M;Golovchenko, N;Kelly, T;Agos, J;Zeglinski, M;Bonder, E;Sandrock, I;Prinz, I;Granville, D;Watson, A;Edelblum, K;
Excessive shedding of enterocytes into the intestinal lumen is observed in inflammatory bowel disease and is correlated with disease relapse. However, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. Intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) expressing the γδ T-cell receptor (TCR) provide surveillance of the intestinal mucosa at steady-state, which is regulated, in part, by CD103. Intravital microscopy of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated mice revealed that γδ IELs make extended contact with shedding enterocytes. These prolonged interactions require CD103 engagement by E-cadherin, as CD103 blockade significantly reduces LPS-induced shedding. Furthermore, we find that granzymes A and B, but not perforin, are required for cell shedding, and that these granzymes are released by γδ IELs both constitutively and following CD103/E-cadherin ligation. These findings indicate that extracellular granzyme facilitates shedding, likely through cleavage of extracellular matrix proteins. Our results uncover a previously unrecognized role for γδ IELs in facilitating pathological cell shedding in a CD103- and granzyme-dependent manner.