Critical role of NKT cells in posttransplant alloantibody production

J. M. Zimmerer, P. Swamy, P. B. Sanghavi, C. L. Wright, M. Abdel-Rasoul, S. M. Elzein, R. R. Brutkiewicz, G. L. Bumgardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


We previously reported that posttransplant alloantibody production in CD8-deficient hosts is IL-4+CD4+ T cell-dependent and IgG1 isotype-dominant. The current studies investigated the hypothesis that IL-4-producing natural killer T cells (NKT cells) contribute to maximal alloantibody production. To investigate this, alloantibody levels were examined in CD8-deficient WT, CD1d KO and Jα18 KO transplant recipients. We found that the magnitude of IgG1 alloantibody production was critically dependent on the presence of type I NKT cells, which are activated by day 1 posttransplant. Unexpectedly, type I NKT cell contribution to enhanced IgG1 alloantibody levels was interferon-γ-dependent and IL-4-independent. Cognate interactions between type I NKT and B cells alone do not stimulate alloantibody production. Instead, NKT cells appear to enhance maturation of IL-4+CD4+ T cells. To our knowledge, this is the first report to substantiate a critical role for type I NKT cells in enhancing in vivo antibody production in response to endogenous antigenic stimuli. Using a murine transplant model, the authors report a novel type I natural killer T cell-mediated mechanism that enhances the magnitude of IgG1 alloantibody production posttransplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2491-2499
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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