Qa-1 restriction of CD8+ suppressor T cells

J Clin Invest. 2004 Nov;114(9):1218-21. doi: 10.1172/JCI23152.


There is increasing evidence that the immune response can be inhibited by several T cell subsets, including NK T cells, CD25+CD4+ T cells, and a subpopulation of CD8+ T cells. Animal model studies of multiple sclerosis have suggested an important role for suppressor CD8+ T cells in protection against disease recurrence and exacerbation. The molecular lynchpin of CD8+ suppressive activity is the murine MHC molecule Qa-1, termed HLA-E in humans. Here we summarize findings from work on Qa-1 that have begun to delineate suppressor CD8+ T cells and their mechanisms of action in the context of self tolerance and autoimmune disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • HLA Antigens / metabolism
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-E antigen
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Peptides
  • Q surface antigens
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2