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J Leukoc Biol. 2001 May;69(5):713-8.

CD1d-reactive T-cell activation leads to amelioration of disease caused by diabetogenic encephalomyocarditis virus.

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Cancer Biology Program, Hematology/Oncology Division, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Leukoc Biol 2001 Aug;70(2):340.


A subset of CD161 (NK1) T cells express an invariant Valpha14Jalpha281 TCR-alpha chain (Valpha(invt) T cells) and produce Th2 and Th1 cytokines rapidly in response to CD1d, but their physiological function(s) remain unclear. We have found that CD1d-reactive T cells mediate to resistance against the acute, cytopathic virus diabetogenic encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV-D) in relatively Th1-biased, C57BL/6-based backgrounds. We show now that these results generalize to Th2-biased, hypersensitive BALB/c mice. CD1d-KO BALB/c mice were more susceptible to EMCV-D. Furthermore, alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer), a CD1d-presented lipid antigen that specifically activates Valpha(invt) T cells, protected wild-type (WT) mice against EMCV-D-induced encephalitis, myocarditis, and diabetes. In contrast, neither CD1d-KO nor Jalpha281-KO mice were protected by alpha-GALCER: Finally, disease in Jalpha281-KO mice was comparable to WT, indicating for the first time equivalent roles for CD1d-reactive Valpha(invt) and noninvariant T cells in resistance to acute viral infection. A model for how CD1d-reactive T cells can initiate immune responses, which synthesizes current results, is presented.

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