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Characterization of Human Mucosal-associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells

Souter, Michael N.T., Loh, Liyen, Li, Shihan, Meehan, Bronwyn S., Gherardin, Nicholas A., Godfrey, Dale I., Rossjohn, Jamie, Fairlie, David P., Kedzierska, Katherine, Pellicci, Daniel G., Chen, Zhenjun, Kjer-Nielsen, Lars, Corbett, Alexandra J., McCluskey, James and Eckle, Sidonia B. G. 2019. Characterization of Human Mucosal-associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells. Current Protocols in Immunology 127 (1) , e90. 10.1002/cpim.90

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Mucosal‐associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a subset of unconventional T cells restricted by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I–like molecule MHC‐related protein 1 (MR1). MAIT cells are found throughout the body, especially in human blood and liver. Unlike conventional T cells, which are stimulated by peptide antigens presented by MHC molecules, MAIT cells recognize metabolite antigens derived from an intermediate in the microbial biosynthesis of riboflavin. MAIT cells mediate protective immunity to infections by riboflavin‐producing microbes via the production of cytokines and cytotoxicity. The discovery of stimulating MAIT cell antigens allowed for the development of an analytical tool, the MR1 tetramer, that binds specifically to the MAIT T cell receptor (TCR) and is becoming the gold standard for identification of MAIT cells by flow cytometry. This article describes protocols to characterize the phenotype of human MAIT cells in blood and tissues by flow cytometry using fluorescently labeled human MR1 tetramers alongside antibodies specific for MAIT cell markers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
ISSN: 1934-3671
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 11:30

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