The response of natural killer T cells to glycolipid antigens is characterized by surface receptor down-modulation and expansion

Michael T. Wilson, Cecilia Johansson, Danyvid Olivares-Villagómez, Avneesh K. Singh, Aleksandar K. Stanic, Chyung Ru Wang, Sebastian Joyce, Mary Jo Wick, Luc Van Kaer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus citations

Abstract

CD1d-restricted natural killer T (NKT) cells are a subset of regulatory T cells that react with glycolipid antigens. Although preclinical studies have effectively targeted NKT cells for immunotherapy, little is known regarding the early in vivo response of these cells to antigenic stimulation. We have analyzed the early response of NKT cells to glycolipid antigens and bacterial infection by using specific reagents for tracking these cells. Our results demonstrate dramatic in vivo expansion and surface phenotype alterations after NKT cell activation with α-galactosylceramide. In addition, we show significant NK1.1 down-modulation on NKT cells in the setting of oral Salmonella infection. Our results indicate that in vivo activation of NKT cells leads to a dynamic response characterized by surface receptor down-modulation and expansion. These findings alter current understanding of NKT cell biology and should aid in the rational design of NKT cell-based immunotherapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10913-10918
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume100
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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