Innate-like T cells straddle innate and adaptive immunity by altering antigen-receptor responsiveness

Melanie Wencker, Gleb Turchinovich, Rafael DiMarco Barros, Livija Deban, Anett Jandke, Andrew Cope, Adrian Hayday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


The subclassification of immunology into innate and adaptive immunity is challenged by innate-like T lymphocytes that use innate receptors to respond rapidly to stress despite expressing T cell antigen receptors (TCRs), a hallmark of adaptive immunity. In studies that explain how such cells can straddle innate and adaptive immunity, we found that signaling via antigen receptors, whose conventional role is to facilitate clonal T cell activation, was critical for the development of innate-like T cells but then was rapidly attenuated, which accommodated the cells' innate responsiveness. These findings permitted the identification of a previously unknown innate-like T cell subset and indicate that T cell hyporesponsiveness, a state traditionally linked to tolerance, may be fundamental to T cells entering the innate compartment and thereby providing lymphoid stress surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80–87
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number1
Early online date17 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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