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J Immunol. 2006 Sep 15;177(6):3686-94.

Invariant NKT cells rapidly activated via immunization with diverse contact antigens collaborate in vitro with B-1 cells to initiate contact sensitivity.

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Immunology Service of Professor Edgar Santos, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador-BA, Brazil.


In cutaneous contact sensitivity there is an early elicited innate cascade of complement, mast cells, and platelets activated via IgM Abs. This response is required to initiate the elicitation of acquired classical contact sensitivity by leading to local recruitment of effector T cells. We recently performed in vivo experiments showing that collaboration is required between innate-like invariant Valpha14+ NKT cells (iNKT) and the innate-like B-1 B cell subset to induce this initiation process. Contact sensitization triggers iNKT cells to produce IL-4 to coactivate the B-1 cells along with specific Ag for production of the initiating IgM Abs. We now describe in vitro collaboration of iNKT and B-1 cells. Normal peritoneal B-1 cells, incubated in vitro with soluble Ag, and with 1-h in vivo immune iNKT cells producing IL-4, are activated to mediate the contact sensitivity-initiation cascade. The three components of this process can be activated by different Ag. Thus, 1-h iNKT cell activation, B-1 cell stimulation, and generation of immune effector T cells can be induced by sensitization with three different Ag to respectively generate IL-4 and Ag-specific IgM Abs, to recruit the Ag-specific effector T cells. These findings have relevance to allergic and autoimmune diseases in which infections can trigger exacerbation of T cell responses to allergens or to autoantigens.

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