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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Mar 1;102(9):3383-8. Epub 2005 Feb 18.

Modulation of CD1d-restricted NKT cell responses by using N-acyl variants of alpha-galactosylceramides.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


A form of alpha-galactosylceramide, KRN7000, activates CD1d-restricted Valpha14-invariant (Valpha14i) natural killer (NK) T cells and initiates multiple downstream immune reactions. We report that substituting the C26:0 N-acyl chain of KRN7000 with shorter, unsaturated fatty acids modifies the outcome of Valpha14i NKT cell activation. One analogue containing a diunsaturated C20 fatty acid (C20:2) potently induced a T helper type 2-biased cytokine response, with diminished IFN-gamma production and reduced Valpha14i NKT cell expansion. C20:2 also exhibited less stringent requirements for loading onto CD1d than KRN7000, suggesting a mechanism for the immunomodulatory properties of this lipid. The differential cellular response elicited by this class of Valpha14i NKT cell agonists may prove to be useful in immunotherapeutic applications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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