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Evolutionary conserved T cells specific for a microbial metabolite: deciphering their development in the thymus and mapping their interactions with the gut microbiota in vivo.

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MAIT project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MAIT project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MAIT" about.

lineage    transfer    dysbiosis    species    inter    ms    mechanisms    class    differentiation    lab    infers    liver    colonization    phenotype    strain    remained    blood    maits    me    gut    mouse    laboratory    ibd    recognizing    diabetes    transcriptomic    tools    leads    admittedly    mhc    transgenic    modified    bounds    play    microbial    immune    conserved    insights    presented    subset    semi    models    scarcity    biological    peripheral    adaptive    technologies    mice    human    germ    host    conservation    bacteria    free    cells    ago    vivo    acquire    obesity    overcome    creation    molecule    antigens    metabolite    limited    implicated    mr1    first    expansion    building    mucosa    anti    50    expand    mucosal    indicating    frequency    microbes    ib    15    expertise    specificity    ligands    evolutionary    polyclonal    commensal    periphery    memory    competitiveness    model    express    microbiota    invariant    flora    re    map    thymus    abundant    elucidate    pathologies    guarantee    acquired    permanently    tcr    interactions    integrate    commensals   

Project "MAIT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: rue d'Ulm 26
city: PARIS
postcode: 75231

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 185˙076 €
 EC max contribution 185˙076 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-RI
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-04-01   to  2018-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    INSTITUT CURIE FR (PARIS) coordinator 185˙076.00


 Project objective

Mucosal Associated Invariant T cells (MAITs) represent an evolutionary conserved subset that express a semi-invariant TCR recognizing a new class of microbial metabolite antigens presented by the MHC class Ib molecule, MR1. In addition to their wide anti-microbial specificity, the high inter-species conservation of both MR1 and invariant TCR infers an important biological role for MAITs. MAITs are abundant in human blood (1-8 % of T cells), mucosa and liver (20-50%). After development in the thymus, MAITs reach the periphery where they acquire a memory phenotype and expand in a process that requires a commensal flora, indicating that MAITs play a role in host-commensals interactions. Admittedly MAITs blood frequency is modified in several pathologies in which dysbiosis of the gut microbiota has been implicated such as IBD, MS, type 2 diabetes and obesity. MAITs were first described over 15 years ago by the Host lab, but the understanding of their development has remained limited because of their scarcity in laboratory mice. Here we will overcome this challenge by using a new mouse strain with increased frequency of polyclonal MAITs. Using my expertise acquired in the US and building on unique tools, we will: 1) Define MAITs lineage: we will use a transcriptomic approach together with dedicated transgenic mouse models to determine how MAITs selection leads to their specific differentiation program in the thymus. 2) Elucidate the mechanisms of MAITs peripheral expansion: we will use germ-free mice and modified bacteria to map the in vivo availability of MAITs ligands upon colonization with commensal microbes. The proposal will provide insights into an evolutionary conserved model of interactions between the adaptive immune system and the gut microbiota. By enabling me to permanently re-integrate the EU, this project will also guarantee transfer of technologies and creation of new bounds between the US and the EU, and will increase the EU competitiveness.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Olivier Lantz, François Legoux
MAIT cells: an historical and evolutionary perspective
published pages: , ISSN: 0818-9641, DOI: 10.1111/imcb.1034
Immunology and Cell Biology 2019-06-13

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