CD1d- mediated recognition of an α-galactosylceramide by natural killer T cells is highly conserved through mammalian evolution

Laurent Brossay, Mariacristina Chioda, Nicolas Burdin, Yasuhiko Koezuka, Giulia Casorati, Paolo Dellabona, Mitchell Kronenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) T cells are a lymphocyte subset with a distinct surface phenotype, an invariant T cell receptor (TCR), and reactivity to CD1. Here we show that mouse NK T cells can recognize human CD1d as well as mouse CD1, and human NK T cells also recognize both CD1 homologues. The unprecedented degree of conservation of this T cell recognition system suggests that it is fundamentally important. Mouse or human CD1 molecules can present the glycolipid α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) to NK T cells from either species. Human T cells, preselected for invariant Vα24 TCR expression, uniformly recognize α-GalCer presented by either human CD1d or mouse CD1. In addition, culture of human peripheral blood cells with α- GalCer led to the dramatic expansion of NK T cells with an invariant (Vα24 +) TCR and the release of large amounts of cytokines. Because invariant Vα14 + and Vα24 + NK T cells have been implicated both in the control of autoimmune disease and the response to tumors, our data suggest that α-GalCer could be a useful agent for modulating human immune responses by activation of the highly conserved NK T cell subset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1528
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume188
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 19 1998

Keywords

  • Antigen presentation
  • CD1
  • Cytokines
  • Glycolipid
  • Natural killer T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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