The vitamin D receptor is required for iNKT cell development

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153 Scopus citations


CD1d-reactive natural killer T (NKT) cells with an invariant T cell receptor Vα14 rearrangement are a unique subset of lymphocytes, which play important roles in immune regulation, tumor surveillance, and host defense against pathogens. Vitamin D is a nutrient/hormone that has been shown to regulate conventional T cell responses but not T cell development. The data show that expression of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) is required for normal development and function of iNKT cells. The iNKT cells from VDR KO mice are intrinsically defective and lack T-bet expression. VDR KO iNKT cells fail to express NK1.1, although they express normal levels of CD122. Extrinsic factors that impact iNKT cell development and function in VDR KO mice include a failure of the liver to support homeostatic proliferation and reduced thymic expression of CD1d and other factors important for optimal antigen presentation in the thymus. In addition, VDR KO iNKT cells were intrinsically defective even when WT antigen-presenting cells were used to stimulate them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5207-5212
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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