Production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies against complexes of the NKT cell ligand α-galactosylceramide bound to mouse CD1d

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • K Yu
  • J Im
  • R Ndonye
  • A Howell
  • S Porcelli

Colleges, School and Institutes


The alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) known as KRN7000 remains the best studied ligand of the lipid-binding MHC class I-like protein CD1d. The KRN7000:CD1d complex is highly recognized by invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, an evolutionarily conserved subset of T lymphocytes that express an unusual semi-invariant T cell antigen receptor, and mediate a variety of proinflammatory and immunoregulatory functions. To facilitate the study of glycolipid antigen presentation to iNKT cells by CD1d, we undertook the production of mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for complexes of KRN7000 bound to mouse CD1d (mCD1d) proteins. Three such monoclonal antibodies were isolated that bound only to mCD1d proteins that were loaded with KRN7000 or closely-related forms of alpha-GalCer. These mAbs showed no reactivity with mCD1d proteins that were not loaded with alpha-GalCer, nor did they bind to complexes formed by loading mCD1d with the self-glycolipid and putative iNKT cell ligand isoglobotrihexosylceramide. These complex-specific monoclonal antibodies allow the direct detection and monitoring of complexes formed by the binding of KRN7000 and other alpha-GalCer analogues to mCD1d. The availability of these mAbs should facilitate a wide range of studies on the biology and potential clinical applications of CD1d-restricted iNKT cells.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2007


  • antigen presentation, galactosylceramide, CD1, NKT cell, monoclonal antibody, glycolipid