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Human mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) CD8 + and Tc17 cells are important tissue-homing cell populations, characterized by high expression of CD161 ( ++ ) and type-17 differentiation, but their origins and relationships remain poorly defined. By transcriptional and functional analyses, we demonstrate that a pool of polyclonal, precommitted type-17CD161 ++ CD8αβ + T cells exist in cord blood, from which a prominent MAIT cell(TCR Vα7.2 + ) population emerges postnatally. During this expansion, CD8αα T cells appear exclusively within aCD161 ++ CD8 + /MAIT subset, sharing cytokine production, chemokine-receptor expression, TCR-usage, and transcriptional profiles with their CD161 ++ CD8αβ + counterparts. Our data demonstrate the origin and differentiation pathway of MAIT-cells from a naive type-17 precommitted CD161 ++ CD8 + T-cell pool and the distinct phenotype and function of CD8αα cells in man. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





422 - 433