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J Immunol. 2001 Nov 15;167(10):5531-4.

A major fraction of human bone marrow lymphocytes are Th2-like CD1d-reactive T cells that can suppress mixed lymphocyte responses.

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  • 1Cancer Biology Program, Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Harvard Skin Disease Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Murine bone marrow (BM) NK T cells can suppress graft-vs-host disease, transplant rejection, and MLRs. Human BM contains T cells with similar potential. Human BM was enriched for NK T cells, approximately 50% of which recognized the nonpolymorphic CD1d molecule. In contrast to the well-characterized blood-derived CD1d-reactive invariant NK T cells, the majority of human BM CD1d-reactive T cells used diverse TCR. Healthy donor invariant NK T cells rapidly produce large amounts of IL-4 and IFN-gamma and can influence Th1/Th2 decision-making. Healthy donor BM CD1d-reactive T cells were Th2-biased and suppressed MLR and, unlike the former, responded preferentially to CD1d(+) lymphoid cells. These results identify a novel population of human T cells which may contribute to B cell development and/or maintain Th2 bias against autoimmune T cell responses against new B cell Ag receptors. Distinct CD1d-reactive T cell populations have the potential to suppress graft-vs-host disease and stimulate antitumor responses.

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