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Immunity. 1997 Apr;6(4):469-77.

CD1d1 mutant mice are deficient in natural T cells that promptly produce IL-4.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


Murine CD1 has been implicated in the development and function of an unusual subset of T cells, termed natural T (NT) cells, that coexpress the T cell receptor (TCR) and the natural killer cell receptor NK1.1. Activated NT cells promptly produce large amounts of IL-4, suggesting that these cells can influence the differentiation of CD4+ effector T cell subsets. We have generated mice that carry a mutant CD1d1 gene. NT cell numbers in the thymus, spleen, and liver of these mice were dramatically reduced. Activated splenocytes from mutant mice did not produce IL-4, whereas similarly treated wild-type splenocytes secreted large amounts of this cytokine. These results demonstrate a critical role for CD1 in the positive selection and function of NT cells.

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