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Anti-microbial activity of Mucosal Associated Invariant T cells

Abstract : Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) lymphocytes are characterized by two evolutionarily conserved features: an invariant TCRα chain and restriction by the MHC-related protein, MR1. Here we show that MAIT cells are activated by cells infected with different strains of bacteria and yeasts, but not viruses, both in human and mouse. This activation requires cognate interaction between the invariant T cell receptor (TCR) and MR1, which can present a bacteria-derived ligand. In humans, we observe a striking diminution of MAIT cell blood-numbers in patients with bacterial infections such as tuberculosis. In mouse, MAIT cells protect against infections by Mycobacterium and Escherichia coli. Thus, MAIT cells are evolutionarily conserved innate-like lymphocytes that sense and help fight off microbial infections.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 27, 2010 - 2:50:27 AM
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Lionel Le Bourhis, Emmanuel Martin, Isabelle Peguillet, Amélie Guihot, Nathalie Froux, et al.. Anti-microbial activity of Mucosal Associated Invariant T cells. Nature Immunology, Nature Publishing Group, 2010, 11 (8), pp.701-709. ⟨10.1038/ni.1890⟩. ⟨hal-00550333⟩



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