Vα14 NKT cells exhibit various immune regulatory properties in vivo, but their precise mechanisms remain to be solved. In this study, we demonstrate the mechanisms of generation of regulatory dendritic cells (DCs) by stimulation of Vα14 NKT cells in vivo. After repeated injection of α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) into mice, splenic DCs acquired properties of regulatory DCs in IL-10-dependent fashion, such as nonmatured phenotypes and increased IL-10 but reduced IL-12 production. The unique cytokine profile in these DCs appears to be regulated by ERK1/2 and IκB NS. These DCs also showed an ability to suppress the development of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis by generating IL-10-producing regulatory CD4 T cells in vivo. These findings contribute to explaining how Vα14 NKT cells regulate the immune responses in vivo.
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