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Mucosal Immunol. 2017 Jan;10(1):35-45. doi: 10.1038/mi.2016.30. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

MAIT cells reside in the female genital mucosa and are biased towards IL-17 and IL-22 production in response to bacterial stimulation.

Author information

1
Unit of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine Solna, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.
2
Center for Infectious Medicine, Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
4
Department of Clinical Pathology/Cytology, Capio St Göran Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

The female genital tract (FGT) mucosa is a critically important site for immune defense against microbes. Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are an innate-like T-cell population that recognizes microbial riboflavin metabolite antigens in an MR1-dependent manner. The role of MAIT cells in the FGT mucosa is unknown. Here, we found that MAIT cells and MR1+ antigen-presenting cells were present in the upper and lower FGT, with distinct tissue localization of MAIT cells in endometrium vs. cervix. The MAIT cells from the FGT and blood displayed a distinct phenotype with expression of interleukin (IL)-18Rα, CD127, α4β7, PD-1, as well as the transcription factors promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF), RORγt, Helios, Eomes, and T-bet. Their expression levels of PLZF and Eomes were lower in the FGT compared with blood. When stimulated with Escherichia coli, MAIT cells from the FGT displayed a bias towards IL-17 and IL-22 expression, whereas blood MAIT cells produced primarily IFN-γ, TNF, and Granzyme B. Furthermore, both FGT- and blood-derived MAIT cells were polyfunctional and contributed to the T-cell-mediated response to E. coli. Thus, MAIT cells in the genital mucosa have a distinct IL-17/IL-22 profile and may have an important role in the immunological homeostasis and control of microbes at this site.

PMID:
27049062
PMCID:
PMC5053908
DOI:
10.1038/mi.2016.30
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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