Robust MAIT cell activation in response to interactions with primary human liver cell subsets

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Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells represent the most abundant T cell type in human liver. Activated MAIT cells are able to secrete IL-17, a cytokine known to exert pro-fibrotic functions. In order to understand which cells in the liver are involved in MAIT cell activation, we are applying naturally occurring antigens (Ag) and defining Ag-presentation capacities of primary human liver cell subsets, both parenchymal and non-parenchymal, to human MAIT cells. We also study MAIT cell localization in human liver tissue, as assessed by immunofluorescence staining. Further, we are interested to explore occupancy of the Ag-presenting molecule MR1 with non-stimulatory ligands as a therapeutic strategy to prevent pro-fibrogenic properties of MAIT cells.