IMR Press / FBL / Volume 27 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbl2705149
Open Access Short Communication
Unconventional T Cell Immunity in the Lungs of Young Children with Cystic Fibrosis
Show Less
1 Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, 3052 Victoria, Australia
2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3010 Victoria, Australia
3 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3000 Victoria, Australia
4 Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, 3052 Victoria, Australia
*Correspondence: (Philip Sutton)
These authors contributed equally.
§On behalf of the Australian Respiratory Early Surveillance Team for Cystic Fibrosis (AREST CF).
Academic Editors: Massimo Conese and Lorenzo Guerra
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2022, 27(5), 149;
Submitted: 17 February 2022 | Revised: 14 April 2022 | Accepted: 21 April 2022 | Published: 10 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cystic fibrosis lung disease: from basic research to clinical issues)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: People with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) develop pulmonary inflammation, chronic infection and structural lung damage early in life, with these manifestations being prevalent among preschool children and infants. While early immune events are believed to play critical roles in shaping the progression, severity and disease burden later in life, T cells and their subsets are poorly studied in the CF lung, particularly during the formative early stages of disease. Methods: Using flow cytometry, we analyzed Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells, γδ T cells, and Natural Killer T (NKT)-like cells in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from seventeen children with CF, aged two to six years old. The effect of age, sex and lung infections on the frequencies of these cells in BAL samples was analysed (grouped data were tested for normality and compared by t-test or Kruskal-Wallis analysis). Results: No difference was noted in the proportions of unconventional T cells related to the sex or age of the children. The frequency of γδ T cells and MAIT cells appeared unchanged by infection status. However, viral infections were associated with a significant increase in the proportion of NKT-like cells. Conclusions: By evaluating T cells in the lungs of children during the early formative stages of CF, this study identified potentially important interactions between these cells and viral pathogens.

cystic fibrosis
unconventional T cells
mucosal immunity
Fig. 1.
Back to top