CD1 molecules are cell surface glycoproteins, structurally similar to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. The murine CD1d1 molecule has been shown to be essential for the positive selection of a unique subpopulation of T cells [the natural killer (NK) T cells], as CD1d1-deficient mice lack NK T cells. These cells have recently been suggested to play an important role in the induction of innate immunity (i.e. NK cells) and the regulation of immune homeostasis. As such, it was asked whether NK T cells were necessary for the generation of cellular immunity to an acute virus infection. In these studies, the Armstrong strain of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a classic inducer of NK cells, and its pathogenic variant clone 13 were used. When NK-cell activity was assessed on day 3 post-LCMV infection, surprisingly, it was found that CD1d1-deficient mice could generate NK-cell activity at wild-type levels. Likewise, LCMV-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activity in CD1d1-deficient mice was indistinguishable from that generated in wild-type mice. Additionally, viral titres in the spleen (LCMV Armstrong) and blood (LCMV clone 13) of infected CD1d1-deficient mice were at comparable levels to those found in wild-type mice, as were virus infection-induced increases in cell surface H-2Kb in the spleen. Therefore, these results suggest that the LCMV-induced generation of NK-cell and virus-specific CTL activity, as well as viral clearance, are independent of CD1d1 expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy