It is well established that different populations of alphabeta T lymphocytes can recognize not only peptides in the context of MHC class I and class II molecules, but also foreign and self-lipids in association with CD1 proteins, which share structural similarities with MHC class I molecules. CD1 molecules are comprised of five isoforms, known as group 1 (CD1a, b, c, e) and group 2 (CD1d) CD1, presenting lipid antigens to conventional T lymphocytes or innate-like T cells bearing an invariant T cell receptor (TCR) and known as invariant NKT (iNKT) cells. During the last couple of years, several papers have been published describing important aspects of the mechanisms controlling the processing and presentation of endogenous and exogenous CD1 lipid antigens, which will be the main focus of this review.
Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.