Activation of natural killer T cells inhibits the development of induced regulatory T cells via IFNγ

Kyu Heon Oh, Changjin Lee, Sung Won Lee, Sung H. Jeon, Se Ho Park, Rho H. Seong, Seokmann Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Recent reports have provided evidence for cross-talk between regulatory T (Treg) cells and natural killer T (NKT) cells. However, it is unclear whether NKT cells play a role in the differentiation of Treg cells. By employing NKT cell-abundant Vα14 TCR transgenic (Tg) and NKT cell-deficient CD1d knock-out (KO) mice, we examined the effects of NKT cells on the in vitro differentiation of induced Treg (iTreg) cells with IL2 and TGFβ. We found that iTreg induction from CD1d KO mice was significantly increased compared to the control. Also, the addition of isolated NKT cells from Vα14 TCR Tg mice to naïve CD4+ T cells from CD1d KO mice during iTreg differentiation caused a remarkable reduction of iTreg cells. Through IFNγ neutralization, we showed that this reduction was mediated by IFNγ. Furthermore, the main source of IFNγ during iTreg differentiation was NK1.1-CD4+Foxp3- T cells. This finding implied that early-activated NKT cells induced Th1-type cells and subsequently underwent apoptosis. Taken together, our results suggest that NKT cells inhibit the in vitro development of iTreg cells by increasing IFNγ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-606
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National R&D Program for Cancer Control , Ministry for Health , Welfare and Family affairs , Republic of Korea ( #0820270 ).


  • Interferon gamma
  • Natural killer T cell
  • Regulatory T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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