Research ArticleT CELLS

IL-23 costimulates antigen-specific MAIT cell activation and enables vaccination against bacterial infection

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Science Immunology  15 Nov 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 41, eaaw0402
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaw0402

In vivo costimulators for MAIT cells

Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells contribute to immune defense against a broad range of pathogens through their ability to recognize microbial riboflavin metabolites presented by the MR1 class I MHC molecule. Wang et al. examined the role that costimulatory signals play in supporting in vivo MAIT cell activation and expansion in mice. Both the inducible T cell costimulator (ICOS) and interleukin-23 (IL-23) costimulatory pathways support MAIT cell expansion and thereby enhance control of infection. A prophylactic vaccine based on combining exogenous IL-23 and a potent MAIT ligand augmented host control of a subsequent pulmonary Legionella infection. These studies pinpoint relevant host costimulatory pathways that can be targeted to enhance MAIT function in antimicrobial defense.

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