The burgeoning family of unconventional T cells

Dale I Godfrey, Adam P Uldrich, James McCluskey, Jamie Rossjohn, D Branch Moody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

570 Citations (Scopus)


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 gammadelta 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1114 - 1123
Number of pages10
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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