The integration of conventional and unconventional T cells that characterizes cell-mediated responses

Adv Immunol. 2005;87:27-59. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2776(05)87002-6.


This review builds on evidence that cell-mediated immune responses to bacteria, viruses, parasites, and tumors are an integration of conventional and unconventional T-cell activities. Whereas conventional T cells provide clonal antigen-specific responses, unconventional T cells profoundly regulate conventional T cells, often suppressing their activities such that immunopathology is limited. By extrapolation, immunopathologies and inflammatory diseases may reflect defects in regulation by unconventional T cells. To explore the function of unconventional T cells, several extensive gene expression analyses have been undertaken. These studies are reviewed in some detail, with emphasis on the mechanisms by which unconventional T cells may exert their regulatory functions. Highlighting the fundamental nature of T-cell integration, we also review emerging data that the development of conventional and unconventional T cells is also highly integrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Chemokines / genetics
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular* / genetics
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta