Intestinal microbes contribute to food digestion and to the development of the host immune system, but can also trigger severe gut inflammation. We study evolutionary conserved T lymphocytes called MAIT (Mucosal Associated Invariant T) cells, which recognize microbiota-derived antigens and may play a role in inflammatory bowel diseases.
We employ computational tools to identify MAIT cell features that are conserved across mammalian evolution. We use gnotobiotic mice to understand how the microbiota controls MAIT cell maturation and function. We use mouse models of intestinal dysbiosis to determine the role of MAIT cells in host-microbiota interactions.
Our goal is to provide a molecular understanding of how the host maintains symbiosis with the intestinal microbiota, which may improve therapies against inflammatory bowel diseases or colorectal cancer.
Our work is funded through an ANR JCJC (9-CE15-0002-01).