CD1b restricts the response of human CD4-8- T lymphocytes to a microbial antigen

Nature. 1992 Dec 10;360(6404):593-7. doi: 10.1038/360593a0.


Molecules encoded by the human CD1 locus on chromosome 1 (ref. 33) are recognized by selected CD4-8- T-cell clones expressing either alpha beta or gamma delta T-cell antigen receptors. The known structural resemblance of CD1 molecules to antigen-presenting molecules encoded by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes on human chromosome 6 (refs 3, 4, 34, 35), suggested that CD1 may represent a family of antigen-presenting molecules separate from those encoded in the MHC. Here we report that the proliferative and cytotoxic responses of human CD4-8- alpha beta TCR+ T cells specific for Mycobacterium tuberculosis can be restricted by CD1b, one of the four identified protein products of the CD1 locus. The responses of these T cells to M. tuberculosis seemed not to involve MHC encoded molecules, but were absolutely dependent on the expression of CD1b by the antigen-presenting cell and involved an antigen processing requirement similar to that seen in MHC class II-restricted antigen presentation. These results provide, to our knowledge, the first direct evidence for the proposed antigen-presenting function of CD1 molecules and suggest that the CD1 family plays a role in cell-mediated immunity to microbial pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD1
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • CD8 Antigens / analysis
  • Chloroquine
  • Fixatives
  • Glutaral / pharmacology
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Transfection


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD1
  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Fixatives
  • Interleukin-4
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Chloroquine
  • Glutaral