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Unconventional T cells include γδ T cells, invariant Natural Killer T cells (iNKT) cells and Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells, which are distinguished from conventional T cells by their recognition of non-peptide ligands presented by non-polymorphic antigen presenting molecules and rapid effector functions that are pre-programmed during their development. Here we review current knowledge of the effect of age on unconventional T cells, from early life to old age, in both mice and humans. We then discuss the role of unconventional T cells in age-associated diseases and infections, highlighting the similarities between members of the unconventional T cell family in the context of aging.

Original publication




Journal article


Semin Immunol

Publication Date





Aging, Cancer, Gamma delta T cells, INKT cells, Inflammaging, MAIT cells, Humans, Mice, Animals, Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells, Natural Killer T-Cells, Aging