Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Scientific Reports




10848 (13 pages)


In the gut, various subsets of intraepithelial T cells (IELs) respond to self or non-self-antigens derived from the body, diet, commensal and pathogenic microbiota. Dominant subset of IELs in the small intestine are TCRαβCD8αα+ cells, which are derived from immature thymocytes that express self-reactive TCRs. Although most of TCRαβCD8αα+ IELs are thymus-derived, their repertoire adapts to microbial flora. Here, using high throughput TCR sequencing we examined how clonal diversity of TCRαβCD8αα+ IELs changes upon exposure to commensal-derived antigens. We found that fraction of CD8αα+ IELs and CD4+ T cells express identical αβTCRs and this overlap raised parallel to a surge in the diversity of microbial flora. We also found that an opportunistic pathogen (Staphylococcus aureus) isolated from mouse small intestine specifically activated CD8αα+ IELs and CD4+ derived T cell hybridomas suggesting that some of TCRαβCD8αα+ clones with microbial specificities have extrathymic origin. We also report that CD8ααCD4+ IELs and Foxp3CD4+ T cells from the small intestine shared many αβTCRs, regardless whether the later subset was isolated from Foxp3CNS1 sufficient or Foxp3CNS1 deficient mice that lacks peripherally-derived Tregs. Overall, our results imply that repertoire of TCRαβCD8αα+ in small intestine expends in situ in response to changes in microbial flora.


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Original Publication Citation

Lukasz, W., Szurek, E., Kuczma, M., Cebula, A., Elhefnawy, W. R., Pietrzak, M., . . . Ignatowicz, L. (2018). Non-canonicaly recruited TCRαβCD8αα IELs recognize microbial antigens. Scientific Reports, 8, 10848. doi: