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Allergy. 2020 Mar 17. doi: 10.1111/all.14279. [Epub ahead of print]

Hypersensitivities following allergen antigen recognition by unconventional T cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
Department of Immunology and Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Australia.


Conventional T cells recognise protein-derived antigens in the context of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class Ia and class II molecules and provide anti-microbial and anti-tumour immunity. Conventional T cells have also been implicated in type IV (also termed delayed-type or T cell mediated) hypersensitivity reactions in response to protein-derived allergen antigens. In addition to conventional T cells, subsets of unconventional T cells exist, which recognise non-protein antigens in the context of monomorphic MHC class I-like molecules. These include T cells that are restricted to the cluster of differentiation 1 (CD1) family members, known as CD1-restricted T cells, and mucosal-associated invariant T cells (MAIT cells) that are restricted to the MHC-related protein 1 (MR1). Compared to conventional T cells, much less is known about the immune functions of unconventional T cells and their role in hypersensitivities. Here we review allergen antigen presentation by MHC-I-like molecules, their recognition by unconventional T cells, and the potential role of unconventional T cells in hypersensitivities. We also speculate on possible scenarios of allergen antigen presentation by MHC-I-like molecules to unconventional T cells, the hallmarks of such responses, and the expected frequencies of hypersensitivities within the human population.


CD1; MAIT cells; MR1; NKT cells; antigen


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