The bovine CD1 family contains group 1 CD1 proteins, but no functional CD1d

I Rhijn, AP Koets, JS Im, D Piebes, F Reddington, Gurdyal Besra, SA Porcelli, W van Eden, VPMG Rutten

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58 Citations (Scopus)


The CD1 family of proteins presents lipid Ags to T cells. Human CD1a, CD1b, and CD1c have been shown in humans to present mycobacterial lipid Ags. Cattle, like humans, are a natural host of several mycobacterial pathogens. In this study, we describe the CD1 family of genes in cattle (Bos taurus) and provide evidence that B. taurus expresses CD1a, CD1e, and multiple CD1b molecules, but no CD1c and CD1d molecules. In mice and humans, CD1d is known to present Ag to NKT cells, a T cell lineage that is characterized by a limited TCR repertoire, capable of rapidly secreting large amounts of IFN-gamma and IL-4. In cattle, two CD1D pseudogenes were found and no intact CD1D genes. Consistent with this, we found complete lack of reactivity to a potent, cross-reactive Ag for NKT cells in mice and humans, alpha-galactosylceramide. Our data suggest the absence of NKT cells in cattle. It remains open whether other cells with the NKT-like phenotype and functions are present in this species. With its functional CD1A and CD1B genes, B. taurus is well equipped to present Ags to CD1-restricted T cells other than NKT cells. Cattle can be used as a model to study group 1 CD1-restricted T cell immunity, including its role in the defense against mycobacterial infections that occur naturally in this species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4888-4893
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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