MR1-Restricted T Cells with MAIT-like Characteristics Are Functionally Conserved in the Pteropid Bat Pteropus alecto

Leeansyah E, Hey YY, Sia WR, Ng JHJ, Gulam MY, Boulouis C, Zhu F, Ahn M, Mak JYW, Fairlie DP, Kwa ALH, Sandberg JK, Wang LF

iScience 23 (12) 101876 [2020-12-00; online 2020-12-00]

Bats are reservoirs for a large number of viruses which have potential to cause major human disease outbreaks, including the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Major efforts are underway to understand bat immune response to viruses, whereas much less is known about their immune responses to bacteria. In this study, MR1-restricted T (MR1T) cells were detected through the use of MR1 tetramers in circulation and tissues of Pteropus alecto (Pa) bats. Pa MR1T cells exhibited weak responses to MR1-presented microbial metabolites at resting state. However, following priming with MR1-presented agonist they proliferated, upregulated critical transcription factors and cytolytic proteins, and gained transient expression of Th1/17-related cytokines and antibacterial cytotoxicity. Collectively, these findings show that the Pa bat immune system encompasses an abundant and functionally conserved population of MR1T cells with mucosal-associated invariant T-like characteristics, suggesting that MR1 and MR1T cells also play a significant role in bat immune defense.

Category: Biochemistry

Funder: VR

Type: Journal article

PubMed 33344919

DOI 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101876

Crossref 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101876

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