Sulfatide-reactive type II NKT cells, the so-called non-invariant NKT (non-iNKT) cells, have been shown to counteract invariant NKT (iNKT) cell activity. However, the effects of sulfatide on activation of iNKT cells by α-galactocylceramide (αGC) in the context of CD1d have not been studied in detail. Therefore, we studied the blocking effect of sulfatide on αGC-induced iNKT cell activation by dendritic cells (DCs). Even in the absence of non-iNKT cells, sulfatide inhibited αGC-mediated iNKT cell activation by reducing αGC/CD1d complex formations in a dose-dependent manner. This was also confirmed in a cell-free setting using immobilized CD1d-Ig. Moreover, simultaneous injection of αGC with sulfatide decreased αGC/CD1d complex formations on DCs, accompanied by the reduced CD40L-up-regulation and IFN-γ production by iNKT cells and IL-12p70 production by DCs. However, sulfatide by itself did not interfere with the presentation of MHC class II-mediated antigen presentation to specific T cells. These results demonstrate that sulfatide competes with αGC to be loaded onto CD1d along the endocytic pathway in DCs, thereby inhibiting the iNKT cell response.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy