Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Revising CD8 Function

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Science's STKE  04 Dec 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 111, pp. tw446
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.111.tw446

Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) reside at the epithelial surface along the gut, and many members of this class of T cells express a homotypic form of the CD8α molecule whose role had been unexplained in the context of IEL biology. Leishman et al. (see the Perspective by Lambolez and Rocha) show that CD8αα homodimers interact specifically with a major histocompatibility complex-like molecule, termed TL, expressed on intestinal epithelial cells. When CD8αα engaged TL, cell division and cytokine production of antigen-specific IELs were increased, and other effector functions, such as cytotoxic activity, were inhibited. Thus, CD8αα may not act as a typical coreceptor but rather as a regulatory molecule that modulates that activity of intestinal T cells.

A. J. Leishman, O. V. Naidenko, A. Attinger, F. Koning, C. J. Lena, Y. Xiong, H.-C. Chang, E. Reinherz, M. Kronenberg, H. Cheroutre, T cell responses modulated through interaction between CD8αα and the nonclassical MHC class I molecule, TL. Science 294, 1936-1939 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]

F. Lambolez, B. Rocha, A molecular gut reaction. Science 294, 1848-1849 (2001). [Full Text]

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