MHC class I-related protein 1 (MR1) is a metabolite-presenting molecule that restricts MR1-reactive T cells including mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. In contrast to MAIT cells, the function of other MR1-restricted T cell subsets is largely unknown. Here, we report that mice in which a T cell-specific transcription factor, B-cell lymphoma/leukemia 11B (Bcl11b), was ablated in immature thymocytes (Bcl11b∆iThy mice) develop chronic inflammation. Bcl11b∆iThy mice lack conventional T cells and MAIT cells, whereas CD4+IL-18R+ αβ T cells expressing skewed Traj33 (Jα33)+ T cell receptors (TCR) accumulate in the periphery, which are necessary and sufficient for the pathogenesis. The disorders observed in Bcl11b∆iThy mice are ameliorated by MR1-deficiency, transfer of conventional T cells, or germ-free conditions. We further show the crystal structure of the TCR expressed by Traj33+ T cells expanded in Bcl11b∆iThy mice. Overall, we establish that MR1-reactive T cells have pathogenic potential.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)