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Immunol Rev. 2015 Mar;264(1):154-66. doi: 10.1111/imr.12271.

MR1-restricted mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells in the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA; VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS), Portland, OR, USA; Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA.


The intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and its human host have long co-evolved. Although the host cellular immune response is critical to the control of the bacterium information on the specific contribution of different immune cell subsets in humans is incomplete. Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a prevalent and unique T-cell population in humans with the capacity to detect intracellular infection with bacteria including Mtb. MAIT cells detect bacterially derived metabolites presented by the evolutionarily conserved major histocompatibility complex-like molecule MR1. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of this T-cell subset and address the potential roles for MR1-restricted T cells in the control, diagnosis, and therapy of tuberculosis.


MR1; mucosal associated invariant T cells (MAIT); tuberculosis

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