Diverse roles of non-diverse molecules: MHC class Ib molecules in host defense and control of autoimmunity

Curr Opin Immunol. 2011 Feb;23(1):104-10. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2010.09.009. Epub 2010 Oct 21.


While the prime function of classical MHC class I molecules (MHC-I) is to present peptide antigens to pathogen-specific cytotoxic T cells, non-classical MHC-I antigens perform a diverse array of functions in both innate and adaptive immunity. In this review we summarize recent evidence that non classical MHC-I molecules are not only recognized by pathogen-specific T cells but that they also serve as immunoregulatory molecules by stimulating a number of distinct non-conventional T cell subsets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I