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Molecular profiling reveals distinct functional attributes of CD1d-restricted natural killer (NK) T cell subsets.

Journal article
Authors Julia Rolf
Emma Berntman
Martin Stenström
Emma M K Smith
Robert Månsson
Hanna Stenstad
Tetsuya Yamagata
William Agace
Mikael Sigvardsson
Susanna Cardell
Published in Molecular immunology
Volume 45
Issue 9
Pages 2607-20
ISSN 0161-5890
Publication year 2008
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Pages 2607-20
Language en
Keywords Animals, Antigens, CD1, immunology, metabolism, Antigens, CD1d, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, immunology, metabolism, Cytokines, genetics, immunology, metabolism, DNA-Binding Proteins, genetics, metabolism, Female, Gene Expression Profiling, Killer Cells, Natural, immunology, metabolism, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Receptors, Cytokine, genetics, metabolism, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, immunology, metabolism, Transcription Factors, genetics, metabolism, Transcription, Genetic
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area


CD1d-restricted natural killer T (NKT) cells can have multiple effects on an immune response, including the activation, regulation and attraction of innate immune cells, and modulation of adaptive immunity. Recent studies reveal that there are distinct subsets of NKT cells which selectively perform some of the functions attributed to CD1d-restricted cells, but the mechanisms underlying these functional differences have not been resolved. Our aim in this study was to identify novel NKT cell associated traits that would provide important insight into NKT cell activation and function. To this end, we have performed gene expression profiling of two separate subsets of NKT cells, analyzing genes differentially expressed in these cells compared to conventional CD4(+)NK1.1(-) T cells. We identify different sets of genes over expressed in each of the two NKT cell types, as well as genes that are common to the two CD1d-restricted NKT cell populations analyzed. A large number of these genes are highly relevant for NKT cell development, activation and function. Each NKT subtype displayed a unique set of chemokine receptors, integrins and molecules related to effector function, supporting the notion that distinct NKT cells can be selectively engaged and have diverse functions in different types of immune reactions.

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