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Nat Commun. 2014;5:3143. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4143.

Acquisition of innate-like microbial reactivity in mucosal tissues during human fetal MAIT-cell development.

Author information

1
Center for Infectious Medicine, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, 14186 Stockholm, Sweden.
2
1] Division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94110, USA [2].
3
Division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94110, USA.

Abstract

Innate-like, evolutionarily conserved MR1-restricted mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells represent a large antimicrobial T-cell subset in humans. Here, we investigate the development of these cells in second trimester human fetal tissues. MAIT cells are rare and immature in the fetal thymus, spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes. In contrast, mature IL-18Rα(+) CD8αα MAIT cells are enriched in the fetal small intestine, liver and lung. Independently of localization, MAIT cells express CD127 and Ki67 in vivo and readily proliferate in response to Escherichia coli in vitro. Maturation is accompanied by the gradual post-thymic acquisition of the PLZF transcription factor and the ability to produce IFNγ and IL-22 in response to bacteria in mucosa. Thus, MAIT cells acquire innate-like antimicrobial responsiveness in mucosa before exposure to environmental microbes and the commensal microflora. Establishment of this arm of immunity before birth may help protect the newborn from a range of pathogenic microbes.

PMID:
24452018
PMCID:
PMC3916833
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4143
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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