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Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Apr;56(4):1219-33.

Examining the role of CD1d and natural killer T cells in the development of nephritis in a genetically susceptible lupus model.

Author information

1
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

CD1d-reactive invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells secrete multiple cytokines upon T cell receptor (TCR) engagement and modulate many immune-mediated conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of these cells in the development of autoimmune disease in genetically lupus-prone (NZBxNZW)F1 (BWF1) mice.

METHODS:

The CD1d1-null genotype was crossed onto the NZB and NZW backgrounds to establish CD1d1-knockout (CD1d0) BWF1 mice. CD1d0 mice and their wild-type littermates were monitored for the development of nephritis and assessed for cytokine responses to CD1d-restricted glycolipid alpha-galactosylceramide (alphaGalCer), anti-CD3 antibody, and concanavalin A (Con A). Thymus and spleen cells were stained with CD1d tetramers that had been loaded with alphaGalCer or its analog PBS-57 to detect iNKT cells, and the cells were compared between BWF1 mice and class II major histocompatibility complex-matched nonautoimmune strains, including BALB/c, (BALB/cxNZW)F1 (CWF1), and NZW.

RESULTS:

CD1d0 BWF1 mice had more severe nephritis than did their wild-type littermates. Although iNKT cells and iNKT cell responses were absent in CD1d0 BWF1 mice, the CD1d0 mice continued to have significant numbers of interferon-gamma-producing NKT-like (CD1d-independent TCRbeta+,NK1.1+ and/or DX5+) cells. CD1d deficiency also influenced cytokine responses by conventional T cells: upon in vitro stimulation of splenocytes with Con A or anti-CD3, type 2 cytokine levels were reduced, whereas type 1 cytokine levels were increased or unchanged in CD1d0 mice as compared with their wild-type littermates. Additionally, numbers of thymic iNKT cells were lower in young wild-type BWF1 mice than in nonautoimmune strains.

CONCLUSION:

Germline deletion of CD1d exacerbates lupus in BWF1 mice. This finding, together with reduced thymic iNKT cells in young BWF1 mice as compared with nonautoimmune strains, implies a regulatory role of CD1d and iNKT cells during the development of lupus.

PMID:
17393451
PMCID:
PMC2291538
DOI:
10.1002/art.22490
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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