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Nat Immunol. 2015 Nov;16(11):1114-23. doi: 10.1038/ni.3298.

The burgeoning family of unconventional T cells.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
2
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
3
Infection and Immunity Program and The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, Clayton, Australia.
4
Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK.
5
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, Monash University, Clayton, Australia.
6
Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

While most studies of T lymphocytes have focused on T cells reactive to complexes of peptide and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins, many other types of T cells do not fit this paradigm. These include CD1-restricted T cells, MR1-restricted mucosal associated invariant T cells (MAIT cells), MHC class Ib-reactive T cells, and γδ T cells. Collectively, these T cells are considered 'unconventional', in part because they can recognize lipids, small-molecule metabolites and specially modified peptides. Unlike MHC-reactive T cells, these apparently disparate T cell types generally show simplified patterns of T cell antigen receptor (TCR) expression, rapid effector responses and 'public' antigen specificities. Here we review evidence showing that unconventional T cells are an abundant component of the human immune system and discuss the immunotherapeutic potential of these cells and their antigenic targets.

PMID:
26482978
DOI:
10.1038/ni.3298
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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