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Immunol Lett. 2002 Feb 1;80(2):113-8.

NKT cells-containing inflammatory lesions induced by Yersinia pseudotuberculosis glycolipids.

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Unité de Bactériologie Moléculaire et Médicale, Laboratoire et Centre de Référence des Yersinia, Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Dr Roux, 75015 Paris, France.


Valpha14-expressing NKT (invNKT) cells are a population of non-conventional T lymphocytes (TL) that bridge mammalian innate and adaptive immunity. Their role in infectious diseases and inflammatory processes is still largely ununderstood. A previous report has shown that an acute granulomatous-like reaction can be elicited by sub-cutaneous injection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis glycolipids in mice, and that recruitment of invNKT cells at the injection site is instrumental in this process. Here, we describe the mouse response to enterobacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis glycolipids extracts during the first week post injection. The cellular reaction is an acute inflammatory infiltrate where TL are abundant from early times on. InvNKT cells are present in the lesions, detectable as early as day 1 post injection. They compose all of the Valpha14-expressing TL, although conventional T cells expressing non-Valpha14 alpha-chains can be detected. The reaction is strictly dependent on ester-linked fatty acids as mild alkaline treatment of the extract prior to injection results in the absence of analysable lesions. Thus, glycolipids from Yersinia induce inflammatory lesions comparable to those induced by mycobacteria glycolipids, in spite of the totally different cell wall composition in the two genera. Moreover, the present findings show that invNKT cell response is not unique to mycobacterial glycolipids.

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