Mucosal-associated invariant T cells augment immunopathology and gastritis in chronic helicobacter pylori infection

Criselle D'Souza, Troi Pediongco, Huimeng Wang, Jean Pierre Y. Scheerlinck, Lyudmila Kostenko, Robyn Esterbauer, Andrew W. Stent, Sidonia B.G. Eckle, Bronwyn S. Meehan, Richard A. Strugnell, Hanwei Cao, Ligong Liu, Jeffrey Y.W. Mak, George Lovrecz, Louis Lu, David P. Fairlie, Jamie Rossjohn, James McCluskey, Alison L. Every, Zhenjun ChenAlexandra J. Corbett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells produce inflammatory cytokines and cytotoxic granzymes in response to by-products of microbial riboflavin synthesis. Although MAIT cells are protective against some pathogens, we reasoned that they might contribute to pathology in chronic bacterial infection. We observed MAIT cells in proximity to Helicobacter pylori bacteria in human gastric tissue, and so, using MR1-tetramers, we examined whether MAIT cells contribute to chronic gastritis in a mouse H. pylori SS1 infection model. Following infection, MAIT cells accumulated to high numbers in the gastric mucosa of wild-type C57BL/6 mice, and this was even more pronounced in MAIT TCR transgenic mice or in C57BL/6 mice where MAIT cells were preprimed by Ag exposure or prior infection. Gastric MAIT cells possessed an effector memory Tc1/Tc17 phenotype, and were associated with accelerated gastritis characterized by augmented recruitment of neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, eosinophils, and non-MAIT T cells and by marked gastric atrophy. Similarly treated MR1-/- mice, which lack MAIT cells, showed significantly less gastric pathology. Thus, we demonstrate the pathogenic potential of MAIT cells in Helicobacter-associated immunopathology, with implications for other chronic bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1916
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Cite this