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Immunol Res. 2012 Sep;53(1-3):191-9. doi: 10.1007/s12026-012-8294-6.

T cells specific for lipid antigens.

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Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 8A Biomedical Grove, Immunos, Biopolis, Singapore.


Lipid-specific T cells are important participants in human immune responses. Recognition of lipid antigens contributes to host defense against pathogens that can cause debilitating diseases, including mycobacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. Lipid-specific T cells also play important roles in various autoimmune diseases, atherosclerosis, and in tumor surveillance. A better understanding of the mechanisms that regulate lipid-reactive T-cell functions will enable the development of novel therapies across a wide range of diseases. In recent years, our laboratory has investigated lipid antigen specificities, mechanisms of lipid antigen presentation, molecular interaction of lipid antigens with CD1 antigen-presenting molecules, and the pathogenic and regulatory functions of lipid-specific T cells in a variety of disease settings. In this review, we present recent data that illustrate the critical role played by lipid-specific immune responses in host protection, with a particular focus on human studies.

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