The Immunology of CD1- and MR1-Restricted T Cells

Annu Rev Immunol. 2016 May 20:34:479-510. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-032414-112008. Epub 2016 Feb 25.


CD1- and MHC-related molecule-1 (MR1)-restricted T lymphocytes recognize nonpeptidic antigens, such as lipids and small metabolites, and account for a major fraction of circulating and tissue-resident T cells. They represent a readily activated, long-lasting population of effector cells and contribute to the early phases of immune response, orchestrating the function of other cells. This review addresses the main aspects of their immunological functions, including antigen and T cell receptor repertoires, mechanisms of nonpeptidic antigen presentation, and the current evidence for their participation in human and experimental diseases.

Keywords: T cell receptor; antigen presentation; autoimmune diseases; infectious diseases; innate-like T cells; lipid antigens; metabolite antigens; mucosal-associated invariant T cells; natural killer T cells; tumor immunity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Antigens, CD1 / metabolism
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens / metabolism
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*


  • Antigens
  • Antigens, CD1
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • MR1 protein, human
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell