Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Exp Immunol. 2010 May;160(2):185-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2009.04074.x. Epub 2009 Dec 15.

An alpha-galactosylceramide C20:2 N-acyl variant enhances anti-inflammatory and regulatory T cell-independent responses that prevent type 1 diabetes.

Author information

Laboratory of Autoimmune Diabetes, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.


Protection from type 1 diabetes (T1D), a T helper type 1 (Th1)-mediated disease, is achievable in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice by treatment with alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) glycolipids that stimulate CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNK T) cells. While we have reported previously that the C20:2 N-acyl variant of alpha-GalCer elicits a Th2-biased cytokine response and protects NOD mice from T1D more effectively than a form of alpha-GalCer that induces mixed Th1 and Th2 responses, it remained to determine whether this protection is accompanied by heightened anti-inflammatory responses. We show that treatment of NOD mice with C20:2 diminished the activation of 'inflammatory' interleukin (IL)-12 producing CD11c(high)CD8+ myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) and augmented the function of 'tolerogenic' DCs more effectively than treatment with the prototypical iNKT cell activator KRN7000 (alpha-GalCer C26:0) that induces Th1- and Th2-type responses. These findings correlate with a reduced capacity of C20:2 to sustain the early transactivation of T, B and NK cells. They may also explain our observation that C20:2 activated iNK T cells depend less than KRN7000 activated iNK T cells upon regulation by regulatory T cells for cytokine secretion and protection from T1D. The enhanced anti-inflammatory properties of C20:2 relative to KRN7000 suggest that C20:2 should be evaluated further as a drug to induce iNK T cell-mediated protection from T1D in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center