Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 2011 Nov 1;187(9):4467-73. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1003798. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Critical roles of RasGRP1 for invariant NKT cell development.

Author information

  • 1Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The invariant NKT (iNKT) cell lineage contains CD4(+) and CD4(-) subsets. The mechanisms that control such subset differentiation and iNKT cell maturation in general have not been fully understood. RasGRP1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for TCR-induced activation of the Ras-ERK1/2 pathway, is critical for conventional αβ T cell development but dispensable for generating regulatory T cells. Its role in iNKT cells has been unknown. In this study, we report severe decreases of iNKT cells in RasGRP1(-/-) mice through cell intrinsic mechanisms. In the remaining iNKT cells in RasGRP1(-/-) mice, there is a selective absence of the CD4(+) subset. Furthermore, RasGRP1(-/-) iNKT cells are defective in TCR-induced proliferation in vitro. These observations establish that RasGRP1 is not only important for early iNKT cell development but also for the generation/maintenance of the CD4(+) iNKT cells. Our data provide genetic evidence that the CD4(+) and CD4(-) iNKT cells are distinct sublineages with differential signaling requirements for their development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Grant Support

Publication Types

MeSH Terms


Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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