Structural studies of ternary complexes of CD1d/glycosyl ceramides/iNKT cells and CD1d/sulfatide/sulfatide reactive Type II NKT cells have shown how the polar moieties on the glycolipids interact with both the antigen presenting protein (CD1d) and the T cell receptors. However, these structures alone do not reveal the relative importance of these interactions. This study focuses on the synthesis of the previously unknown 2"-deoxy-?-galactosyl ceramide 2. This glycolipid is also evaluated for its ability to stimulate iNKT cells and sulfatide-reactive Type II NKT cells.
Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells induce a protective immune response triggered by foreign glycolipid antigens bound to CD1d on antigen-presenting cells (APCs). A limitation of using glycolipid antigens to stimulate immune responses in human patients has been the inability to target them to the most effective APCs. Recent studies have implicated phagocytic CD169(+) macrophages as major APCs in lymph nodes for priming iNKT cells in mice immunized with glycolipid antigen in particulate form. CD169 is known as sialoadhesin (Sn), a macrophage-specific adhesion and endocytic receptor of the siglec family that recognizes sialic acid containing glycans as ligands. We have recently developed liposomes decorated with glycan ligands for CD169/Sn suitable for targeted delivery to macrophages via CD169/Sn-mediated endocytosis. Here we show that targeted delivery of a lipid antigen to CD169(+) macrophages in vivo results in robust iNKT cell activation in liver and spleen using nanogram amounts of antigen. Activation of iNKT cells is abrogated in Cd169(-/-) mice and is macrophage-dependent, demonstrating that targeting CD169(+) macrophages is sufficient for systemic activation of iNKT cells. When pulsed with targeted liposomes, human monocyte-derived dendritic cells expressing CD169/Sn activated human iNKT cells, demonstrating the conservation of the CD169/Sn endocytic pathway capable of presenting lipid antigens to iNKT cells.
Natural killer T cells (NKT cells) recognize glycolipid antigens presented by CD1d. These cells express an evolutionarily conserved, invariant T cell antigen receptor (TCR), but the forces that drive TCR conservation have remained uncertain. Here we show that NKT cells recognized diacylglycerol-containing glycolipids from Streptococcus pneumoniae, the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia, and group B Streptococcus, which causes neonatal sepsis and meningitis. Furthermore, CD1d-dependent responses by NKT cells were required for activation and host protection. The glycolipid response was dependent on vaccenic acid, which is present in low concentrations in mammalian cells. Our results show how microbial lipids position the sugar for recognition by the invariant TCR and, most notably, extend the range of microbes recognized by this conserved TCR to several clinically important bacteria.
Natural killer T (NKT) cells recognize glycolipids presented by CD1d. The first antigen described, ?-galactosyl ceramide (?GalCer), is a potential anticancer agent whose activity depends upon IFN-? secretion. We report two analogs of ?GalCer based on a naturally occurring glycosphingolipid, plakoside A. These compounds induce enhanced IFN-? that correlates with detergent-resistant binding to CD1d and an increased stability of the lipid-CD1d complexes on antigen-presenting cells. Structural analysis on one of the analogs indicates that it is more deeply bound inside the CD1d groove, suggesting tighter lipid-CD1d interactions. To our knowledge, this is the first example in which structural information provides an explanation for the increased lipid-CD1d stability, likely responsible for the Th1 bias. We provide insights into the mechanism of IFN-?-inducing compounds, and because our compounds activate human NKT cells, they could have therapeutic utility.
Invariant NKT cells (iNKT cells) are a unique subset of T lymphocytes that rapidly carry out effector functions. In this study, we report that a majority of sterile house dust extracts (HDEs) tested contained antigens capable of activating mouse and human iNKT cells. HDEs had adjuvant-like properties in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma model, which were dependent on V?14i NKT cells, as vaccinated animals deficient for iNKT cells displayed significantly attenuated immune responses and airway inflammation. Furthermore, the administration of HDEs together with OVA mutually augmented the synthesis of cytokines by V?14i NKT cells and by conventional CD4(+) T cells in the lung, demonstrating a profound immune response synergy for both Th2 cytokines and IL-17A. These data demonstrate that iNKT cell antigens are far more widely dispersed in the environment than previously anticipated. Furthermore, as the antigenic activity in different houses varied greatly, they further suggest that iNKT cell responses to ambient antigens, particular to certain environments, might promote sensitization to conventional respiratory allergens.
Regulation of immune responses is critical for controlling inflammation and disruption of this process can lead to tissue damage. We reported that CXCL13 was induced in fallopian tube tissue following C. trachomatis infection. Here, we examined the influence of the CXCL13-CXCR5 axis in chlamydial genital infection.
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