This review builds on evidence that cell-mediated immune responses to bacteria, viruses, parasites, and tumors are an integration of conventional and unconventional T-cell activities. Whereas conventional T cells provide clonal antigen-specific responses, unconventional T cells profoundly regulate conventional T cells, often suppressing their activities such that immunopathology is limited. By extrapolation, immunopathologies and inflammatory diseases may reflect defects in regulation by unconventional T cells. To explore the function of unconventional T cells, several extensive gene expression analyses have been undertaken. These studies are reviewed in some detail, with emphasis on the mechanisms by which unconventional T cells may exert their regulatory functions. Highlighting the fundamental nature of T-cell integration, we also review emerging data that the development of conventional and unconventional T cells is also highly integrated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Wellcome Trust for support, the NIH (R. H.), and the Marie Curie Intra‐European Fellowship Programme (D. V.). This paper is dedicated to F. L. Hayday (1922–2005).