Rapid and reliable generation of invariant natural killer T-cell lines in vitro

A Chiba, N Cohen, M Brigl, PJ Brennan, Gurdyal Besra, MB Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


P>Several tools have proved useful in the study of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, including CD1d-deficient mice, J alpha 281-deficient mice, synthetic lipid antigens and antigen-loaded CD1d tetramers. However, the generation and examination of long-term primary murine iNKT cell lines in vitro has been challenging. Here, we show the rapid generation of iNKT cell lines from splenic iNKT cells of V alpha 14 T-cell receptor (TCR) transgenic (Tg) mice. These purified iNKT cells were stimulated by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) loaded with alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha GalCer) and cultured with interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-7. iNKT cells proliferated dramatically, and the cell number exhibited a 100-fold increase within 2 weeks and a 105-fold increase in 8 weeks after repeated stimulation with alpha GalCer. The iNKT cell lines consisted of iNKT cells expressing V beta chains including V beta 8.1/8.2, V beta 14, V beta 10, V beta 6 and V beta 7, and responded to stimulation with alpha GalCer presented both by BMDCs and by plate-bound CD1d. In addition, the iNKT cell lines produced interferon (IFN)-gamma when activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN)-stimulated BMDCs. Further, we show that iNKT cell lines produced cytokines in response to microbial antigens. In summary, high-yield iNKT cell lines were generated very rapidly and robustly expanded, and these iNKT cells responded to both TCR and cytokine stimulation in vitro. Given the desire to study primary iNKT cells for many purposes, these iNKT cell lines should provide an important tool for the study of iNKT cell subsets, antigen and TCR specificity, activation, inactivation and effector functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-333
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


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