MAIT cells are critical for optimal mucosal immune responses during in vivo pulmonary bacterial infection.
ABSTRACT: Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are "innate" T cells that express an invariant T-cell receptor ?-chain restricted by the nonclassical MHC class I molecule MHC-related protein 1 (MR1). A recent discovery that MR1 presents vitamin B metabolites, presumably from pathogenic and/or commensal bacteria, distinguishes MAIT cells from peptide- or lipid-recognizing ?? T cells in the immune system. MAIT cells are activated by a wide variety of bacterial strains in vitro, but their role in defense against infectious assaults in vivo remains largely unknown. To investigate how MAIT cells contribute to mucosal immunity in vivo, we used a murine model of pulmonary infection by using the live vaccine strain (LVS) of Francisella tularensis. In the early acute phase of infection, MAIT cells expanded robustly in the lungs, where they preferentially accumulated after reaching their peak expansion in the late phase of infection. Throughout the course of infection, MAIT cells produced the critical cytokines IFN-?, TNF-?, and IL-17A. Mechanistic studies showed that MAIT cells required both MR1 and IL-12 40 kDa subunit (IL-12p40) signals from infected antigen presenting cells to control F. tularensis LVS intracellular growth. Importantly, pulmonary F. tularensis LVS infection of MR1-deficient (MR1(-/-)) mice, which lack MAIT cells, revealed defects in early mucosal cytokine production, timely recruitment of IFN-?-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells to the infected lungs, and control of pulmonary F. tularensis LVS growth. This study provides in vivo evidence demonstrating that MAIT cells are an important T-cell subset with activities that influence the innate and adaptive phases of mucosal immunity.
Project description:Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a unique innate T cell subset that is necessary for rapid recruitment of activated CD4+ T cells to the lungs after pulmonary F. tularensis LVS infection. Here, we investigated the mechanisms behind this effect. We provide evidence to show that MAIT cells promote early differentiation of CCR2-dependent monocytes into monocyte-derived DCs (Mo-DCs) in the lungs after F. tularensis LVS pulmonary infection. Adoptive transfer of Mo-DCs to MAIT cell-deficient mice (MR1-/- mice) rescued their defect in the recruitment of activated CD4+ T cells to the lungs. We further demonstrate that MAIT cell-dependent GM-CSF production stimulated monocyte differentiation in vitro, and that in vivo production of GM-CSF was delayed in the lungs of MR1-/- mice. Finally, GM-CSF-deficient mice exhibited a defect in monocyte differentiation into Mo-DCs that was phenotypically similar to MR1-/- mice. Overall, our data demonstrate that MAIT cells promote early pulmonary GM-CSF production, which drives the differentiation of inflammatory monocytes into Mo-DCs. Further, this delayed differentiation of Mo-DCs in MR1-/- mice was responsible for the delayed recruitment of activated CD4+ T cells to the lungs. These findings establish a novel mechanism by which MAIT cells function to promote both innate and adaptive immune responses.
Project description:Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells recognise conserved microbial metabolites from riboflavin synthesis. Striking evolutionary conservation and pulmonary abundance implicate them in antibacterial host defence, yet their functions in protection against clinically important pathogens are unknown. Here we show that mouse Legionella longbeachae infection induces MR1-dependent MAIT cell activation and rapid pulmonary accumulation of MAIT cells associated with immune protection detectable in immunocompetent host animals. MAIT cell protection is more evident in mice lacking CD4+ cells, and adoptive transfer of MAIT cells rescues immunodeficient Rag2-/-?C-/- mice from lethal Legionella infection. Protection is dependent on MR1, IFN-? and GM-CSF, but not IL-17A, TNF or perforin, and enhanced protection is detected earlier after infection of mice antigen-primed to boost MAIT cell numbers before infection. Our findings define a function for MAIT cells in protection against a major human pathogen and indicate a potential role for vaccination to enhance MAIT cell immunity.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells have a semi-invariant TCR V?-chain, and their optimal development is dependent upon commensal flora and expression of the nonpolymorphic MHC class I-like molecule MR1. MAIT cells are activated in an MR1-restricted manner by diverse strains of bacteria and yeast, suggesting a widely shared Ag. Recently, human and mouse MR1 were found to bind bacterial riboflavin metabolites (ribityllumazine [RL] Ags) capable of activating MAIT cells. In this study, we used MR1/RL tetramers to study MR1 dependency, subset heterogeneity, and protective effector functions important for tuberculosis immunity. Although tetramer(+) cells were detected in both MR1(+/+) and MR1(-/-) TCR V?19i-transgenic (Tg) mice, MR1 expression resulted in significantly increased tetramer(+) cells coexpressing TCR V?6/8, NK1.1, CD44, and CD69 that displayed more robust in vitro responses to IL-12 plus IL-18 and RL Ag, indicating that MR1 is necessary for the optimal development of the classic murine MAIT cell memory/effector subset. In addition, tetramer(+) MAIT cells expressing CD4, CD8, or neither developing in MR1(+/+) V?19i-Tg mice had disparate cytokine profiles in response to RL Ag. Therefore, murine MAIT cells are considerably more heterogeneous than previously thought. Most notably, after mycobacterial pulmonary infection, heterogeneous subsets of tetramer(+) V?19i-Tg MAIT cells expressing CXCR3 and ?4?1 were recruited into the lungs and afforded early protection. In addition, V?19iC?(-/-)MR(+/+) mice were significantly better protected than were V?19iC?(-/-)MR1(-/-), wild-type, and MR1(-/-) non-Tg mice. Overall, we demonstrate considerable functional diversity of MAIT cell responses, as well as that MR1-restricted MAIT cells are important for tuberculosis protective immunity.
Project description:Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are evolutionarily-conserved, innate-like lymphocytes which are abundant in human lungs and can contribute to protection against pulmonary bacterial infection. MAIT cells are also activated during human viral infections, yet it remains unknown whether MAIT cells play a significant protective or even detrimental role during viral infections in vivo. Using murine experimental challenge with two strains of influenza A virus, we show that MAIT cells accumulate and are activated early in infection, with upregulation of CD25, CD69 and Granzyme B, peaking at 5 days post-infection. Activation is modulated via cytokines independently of MR1. MAIT cell-deficient MR1-/- mice show enhanced weight loss and mortality to severe (H1N1) influenza. This is ameliorated by prior adoptive transfer of pulmonary MAIT cells in both immunocompetent and immunodeficient RAG2-/-γC-/- mice. Thus, MAIT cells contribute to protection during respiratory viral infections, and constitute a potential target for therapeutic manipulation.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells express an invariant TRAV1/TRAJ33 TCR-α chain and are restricted to the MHC-I-like molecule, MR1. Whether MAIT cell development depends on this invariant TCR-α chain is unclear. Here we generate Traj33-deficient mice and show that they are highly depleted of MAIT cells; however, a residual population remains and can respond to exogenous antigen in vitro or pulmonary Legionella challenge in vivo. These residual cells include some that express Trav1+ TCRs with conservative Traj-gene substitutions, and others that express Trav1- TCRs with a broad range of Traj genes. We further report that human TRAV1-2- MR1-restricted T cells contain both MAIT-like and non-MAIT-like cells, as judged by their TCR repertoire, antigen reactivity and phenotypic features. These include a MAIT-like population that expresses a public, canonical TRAV36+ TRBV28+ TCR. Our findings highlight the TCR diversity and the resulting potential impact on antigen recognition by MR1-restricted T cells.
Project description:Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a unique population of ?? T cells in mammals that reside preferentially in mucosal tissues and express an invariant V? paired with limited V? T-cell receptor (TCR) chains. Furthermore, MAIT cell development is dependent upon the expression of the evolutionarily conserved major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ib molecule MR1. Using in vitro assays, recent studies have shown that mouse and human MAIT cells are activated by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) infected with diverse microbes, including numerous bacterial strains and yeasts, but not viral pathogens. However, whether MAIT cells play an important, and perhaps unique, role in controlling microbial infection has remained unclear. To probe MAIT cell function, we show here that purified polyclonal MAIT cells potently inhibit intracellular bacterial growth of Mycobacterium bovis BCG in macrophages (M?) in coculture assays, and this inhibitory activity was dependent upon MAIT cell selection by MR1, secretion of gamma interferon (IFN-?), and an innate interleukin 12 (IL-12) signal from infected M?. Surprisingly, however, the cognate recognition of MR1 by MAIT cells on the infected M? was found to play only a minor role in MAIT cell effector function. We also report that MAIT cell-deficient mice had higher bacterial loads at early times after infection compared to wild-type (WT) mice, demonstrating that MAIT cells play a unique role among innate lymphocytes in protective immunity against bacterial infection.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells typically express a TRAV1-2+ semi-invariant TCR? that enables recognition of bacterial, mycobacterial, and fungal riboflavin metabolites presented by MR1. MAIT cells are associated with immune control of bacterial and mycobacterial infections in murine models. Here, we report that a population of pro-inflammatory TRAV1-2+ CD8+ T cells are present in the airways and lungs of healthy individuals and are enriched in bronchoalveolar fluid of patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). High-throughput T cell receptor analysis reveals oligoclonal expansions of canonical and donor-unique TRAV1-2+ MAIT-consistent TCR? sequences within this population. Some of these cells demonstrate MR1-restricted mycobacterial reactivity and phenotypes suggestive of MAIT cell identity. These findings demonstrate enrichment of TRAV1-2+ CD8+ T cells with MAIT or MAIT-like features in the airways during active TB and suggest a role for these cells in the human pulmonary immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Project description:Mucosal-Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate-like T cells characterised by the invariant TCR-chain, V?7.2-J?33, and are restricted by MR1, which presents bacterial vitamin B metabolites. They are important for antibacterial immunity at mucosal sites; however, detailed characteristics of liver-infiltrating MAIT (LI-MAIT) and their role in biliary immune surveillance remain unexplored.The phenotype and intrahepatic localisation of human LI-MAIT cells was examined in diseased and normal livers. MAIT cell activation in response to E. coli-exposed macrophages, biliary epithelial cells (BEC) and liver B cells was assessed with/without anti-MR1.Intrahepatic MAIT cells predominantly localised to bile ducts in the portal tracts. Consistent with this distribution, they expressed biliary tropic chemokine receptors CCR6, CXCR6, and integrin ?E?7. LI-MAIT cells were also present in the hepatic sinusoids and possessed tissue-homing chemokine receptor CXCR3 and integrins LFA-1 and VLA-4, suggesting their recruitment via hepatic sinusoids. LI-MAIT cells were enriched in the parenchyma of acute liver failure livers compared to chronic diseased livers. LI-MAIT cells had an activated, effector memory phenotype, expressed ?4?7 and receptors for IL-12, IL-18, and IL-23. Importantly, in response to E. coli-exposed macrophages, liver B cells and BEC, MAIT cells upregulated IFN-? and CD40 Ligand and degranulated in an MR1-dependent, cytokine-independent manner. In addition, diseased liver MAIT cells expressed T-bet and ROR?t and the cytokines IFN-?, TNF-?, and IL-17.Our findings provide the first evidence of an immune surveillance effector response for MAIT cells towards BEC in human liver; thus they could be manipulated for treatment of biliary disease in the future.
Project description:Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a unique T cell subset that contributes to protective immunity against microbial pathogens, but little is known about the role of chemokines in recruiting MAIT cells to the site of infection. Pulmonary infection with Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) stimulates the accrual of large numbers of MAIT cells in the lungs of mice. Using this infection model, we find that MAIT cells are predominantly CXCR6+ but do not require CXCR6 for accumulation in the lungs. However, CXCR6 does contribute to long-term retention of MAIT cells in the airway lumen after clearance of the infection. We also find that MAIT cells are not recruited from secondary lymphoid organs and largely proliferate in situ in the lungs after infection. Nevertheless, the only known ligand for CXCR6, CXCL16, is sufficient to drive MAIT cell accumulation in the lungs in the absence of infection when administered in combination with the MAIT cell antigen 5-OP-RU. Overall, this new data advances the understanding of mechanisms that facilitate MAIT cell accumulation and retention in the lungs.
Project description:Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are an innate-like T cell subset prevalent in humans and distributed throughout the blood and mucosal sites. Human MAIT cells are defined by the expression of the semi-invariant TCR? chain TRAV1-2/TRAJ12/20/33 and are restricted by the non-polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-like molecule, MHC-related protein 1, MR1. MAIT cells are activated by small organic molecules, derived from the riboflavin biosynthesis pathway of bacteria and fungi, presented by MR1. Traditionally, MAIT cells were thought to recognize a limited number of antigens due to usage of an invariant TCR? chain and restriction by a non-polymorphic MHC molecule. However, recent studies demonstrate that the TCR repertoire of MAIT cells is more heterogeneous, suggesting there is a more diverse array of MR1 antigens that MAIT cells can recognize. In response to infected cells, MAIT cells produce the pro-inflammatory cytokines, IFN-? and TNF, and are cytolytic. Studies performed in MR1-deficient mice suggest that MAIT cells can provide anti-bacterial control within the first few days post-infection, as well as contribute to enhanced adaptive immunity in murine models of respiratory infections. In humans, the role of MAIT cells is unclear; however, evidence points to interplay between MAIT cells and microbial infections, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Given that MAIT cells are pro-inflammatory, serve in early control of bacterial infections, and appear enriched at tissue sites where microbes interface and gain access to the body, we postulate that they play an important role in antimicrobial immune responses. In this review, we discuss the most recent studies on the function and phenotype of MAIT cells, including their TCR diversity and antigenic repertoire, with a focus on the contribution of human MAIT cells in the immune response to microbial infection.