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Immunity. 2002 Apr;16(4):583-94.

Activation of a nonclassical NKT cell subset in a transgenic mouse model of hepatitis B virus infection.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology/Immunology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Abstract

NKT cells are specialized cells of the immune system that bear both T cell and NK cell markers. Classical NKT cells display TCRs of restricted heterogeneity (Valpha14-Jalpha281) and recognize lipid antigens (e.g., alpha-galactosyl ceramide) presented by nonpolymorphic CD1 molecules. Recently, other nonclassical NKT subsets have been recognized, including NKT cells not reactive with CD1d-alpha-galactosyl ceramide complexes. The biological functions of these cells are unknown. Here, we show that nonclassical NKT cells that are CD1d restricted but nonreactive to alpha-GalCer are activated in response to hepatocytes expressing hepatitis B viral antigens in a transgenic mouse model of acute hepatitis B virus infection. Our results document the first in vivo function for such nonclassical NKT cells and suggest a role for these cells in the host response to HBV infection.

PMID:
11970881
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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