T Cells Recognize Nonpeptide Ligands

Not all T cells are self-MHC restricted and recognize only peptide antigens displayed in the cleft of the self-MHC molecule. Indeed, Chapters 2 and 8 describe ap TCR-bearing T cells (NK1-T cells and CD1-restricted T cells) that are not restricted by conventional MHC molecules. In one study, a 78 T-cell clone was found to bind directly to a herpes-virus protein without requiring antigen processing and presentation together with MHC. Human 78 T cells have been reported that display MHC-independent binding of a phospholipid derived from M. tuberculosis, the organism responsible for tuberculosis (see Chapter 9). This finding suggests that in many cases the TCR receptors of 78 T cells bind to epitopes in much the same way that the immunoglobulin receptors of B cells do. The fact that most human 78 T cells all have the same specificity suggests that like other components of the innate immune system, they recognize and respond to

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CLINICAL FOCUS

Failure of Apoptosis Causes Defective Lymphocyte Homeostasis

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