Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 138  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 620-631

T cell recognition of non-peptidic antigens in infectious diseases

1 SIgN (Singapore Immunology Network), A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology & Research), Singapore
2 SIgN (Singapore Immunology Network), A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology & Research), Singapore; Experimental Immunology, Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Gennaro De Libero
Singapore Immunology Network (SigN), 8A Biomedical Grove, #04-06 Immunos, Singapore 138648

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 24434317

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The immune system has evolved to recognize a wide range of antigenic molecules of self and non-self origin. The stimulatory antigens form complexes with antigen-presenting molecules and directly interact with the T cell receptor (TCR). Peptidic antigens associate with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules and therefore, are indicated as MHC-restricted. Non-peptidic antigens do not bind to MHC molecules and are presented by other classes of antigen-presenting molecules. These non-MHC restricted antigens include glycolipid molecules, phosphorylated metabolites of the mevalonate pathway and vitamin B2 precursors. T cells specific for non-peptidic antigens have important roles in host defense against infections, autoimmunity, allergies and tumour immunosurveillance. Hence, understanding the molecular interactions between the antigen presenting cell (APC) and the T cells with non-peptidic specificity is of great relevance. Here, we review current knowledge of this type of T cells, their TCR repertoire, the structural aspects of recognized antigens, the mode of antigen recognition, and their function with special emphasis on their role in infectious diseases.

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