SFB 1054

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Project A02 - Differentiation pathways of semiinvariant innate-like T cells

Substances other than peptide antigens can be detected by so-called unconventional T cell populations like glycolipid recognizing natural killer T (NKT) cells and bacterial metabolite recognizing mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, which exert critical immune-regulatory functions. To study development of the NKT lineage, we have generated and analyzed a mouse model allowing the timed induction of a substantial wave of NKT cell development, in which we now plan to pinpoint NKT cell subset fate decisions with high temporal resolution at critical time-periods, test candidate genes and define the intrathymic location of NKT cell differentiation as well as characterize the surrounding niches. We will now produce a similar mouse model and extend our studies to MAIT cell differentiation. Our studies will thus reveal fundamental and unique principles as well as the precise timing of sterile effector differentiation pathways and the acquisition of immune-modulatory functions in innate-like T cells.


Participating Institutions