Role of NKT cells in allogeneic islet graft survival

Seung Hee Yang, Ji Zhe JIn, Se Han Lee, Hyungbae Park, Chi Hwa Kim, Dong Sup Lee, Suhnggwon Kim, Nam Hyun Chung, Yon Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Although NKT cells expressing CD1d-reactive TCR exerted protective role in autoimmune diseases, the regulatory function of CD1d-dependent NKT cells in alloimmune responses has not been investigated thoroughly. Here, we demonstrated the regulatory effects of NKT cells using a pancreas islet transplantation model. CD40/CD154 blocking induced long-term graft survival in most B6 recipients, but B6.CD1d-/- recipients showed co-stimulation blockade-resistant rejection. Adoptive transfer of NKT cells into B6.CD1d-/- restored tolerizing capacity of co-stimulatory blockade. Activation of NKT cells was effective for the prolongation of graft survival and up-regulated membrane-bound TGF-β expression transiently on their cell surface. The activated CD1d-dependent NKT cells inhibited alloantigen-driven cell proliferation through cell contacts and the beneficial effect of CD154 blocking for allograft survival was related to TGF-β pathway. Thus, we can conclude that NKT cells are essential for the stable allograft survival and the regulatory function is dependent on, at least in part, TGF-β engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-266
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept


  • NKT cells
  • Regulation of alloimmune responses
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of NKT cells in allogeneic islet graft survival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this