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J Vis Exp. 2012 Dec 29;(70). pii: 4333. doi: 10.3791/4333.

Artificial antigen presenting cell (aAPC) mediated activation and expansion of natural killer T cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

Natural killer T (NKT) cells are a unique subset of T cells that display markers characteristic of both natural killer (NK) cells and T cells(1). Unlike classical T cells, NKT cells recognize lipid antigen in the context of CD1 molecules(2). NKT cells express an invariant TCRα chain rearrangement: Vα14Jα18 in mice and Vα24Jα18 in humans, which is associated with Vβ chains of limited diversity(3-6), and are referred to as canonical or invariant NKT (iNKT) cells. Similar to conventional T cells, NKT cells develop from CD4-CD8- thymic precursor T cells following the appropriate signaling by CD1d (7). The potential to utilize NKT cells for therapeutic purposes has significantly increased with the ability to stimulate and expand human NKT cells with α-Galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) and a variety of cytokines(8). Importantly, these cells retained their original phenotype, secreted cytokines, and displayed cytotoxic function against tumor cell lines. Thus, ex vivo expanded NKT cells remain functional and can be used for adoptive immunotherapy. However, NKT cell based-immunotherapy has been limited by the use of autologous antigen presenting cells and the quantity and quality of these stimulator cells can vary substantially. Monocyte-derived DC from cancer patients have been reported to express reduced levels of costimulatory molecules and produce less inflammatory cytokines(9,10). In fact, murine DC rather than autologous APC have been used to test the function of NKT cells from CML patients(11). However, this system can only be used for in vitro testing since NKT cells cannot be expanded by murine DC and then used for adoptive immunotherapy. Thus, a standardized system that relies on artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (aAPC) could produce the stimulating effects of DC without the pitfalls of allo- or xenogeneic cells(12, 13). Herein, we describe a method for generating CD1d-based aAPC. Since the engagement of the T cell receptor (TCR) by CD1d-antigen complexes is a fundamental requirement of NKT cell activation, antigen: CD1d-Ig complexes provide a reliable method to isolate, activate, and expand effector NKT cell populations.

PMID:
23299308
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3577866
Free PMC Article
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