Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Immunol. 2011 May;32(5):212-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Apr 2.

Mucosal-associated invariant T cells: unconventional development and function.

Author information

  • 1Institut Curie, Département de Biologie des Tumeurs, Paris, 75005, France.


Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a population of T cells that display a semi-invariant T cell receptor (TCR) and are restricted by the evolutionarily conserved major histocompatibility complex related molecule, MR1. Here, we review recent knowledge of this T cell population. MAIT cells are abundant in human blood, gut and liver, and display an effector phenotype. They follow an atypical pathway of development and preferentially locate to peripheral tissues. Human and mouse MAIT cells react to bacterially infected cells in an MR1-dependent manner. They migrate to the infection site and can be protective in experimental infection models. MAIT cells secrete interferon-γ, and interleukin-17 under certain conditions. The species conservation, as well as the wide microbial reactivity, infer an important role for this cell population in immunity.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk