Islet allograft tolerance in the absence of invariant natural killer T cells

Xiufeng Chu, Elizabeth Kilpatrick, Xiang Xiao, Wentao Liu, Gulcin Demirci, Mark Exley, Xian C. Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The invariant NKT cells are involved in both immunity and immune tolerance. However, their roles in transplant models remain controversial. We studied the role of NKT cells in the allograft response using two different strains of NKT deficient mice (CD1d-/- and Jα18-/- mice), and found that CD1d-/- and Jα18-/- mice rejected islet allografts with a similar kinetics as wild type B6 mice. Treatment of CD1d-/- and Jα18-/- mice with donor specific transfusion and anti-CD154 induced donor specific tolerance, which was identical to similarly treated wt B6 mice. The islet allograft tolerance requires Foxp3 + Tregs. In the periphery, Foxp3 + Tregs in CD1d-/-, Jα18-/-, and wt B6 mice were comparable both phenotypically and functionally. In addition, CD1d-/- and Jα18-/- CD4 + T cells (non-Tregs) could be readily converted to Foxp3 + Tregs by TGF-β in vitro. Our data suggest that islet allograft tolerance can be successfully established without invariant NKT cells. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)268-272
    Number of pages4
    JournalClinical Immunology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Islets
    • NK cells
    • Tolerance
    • Transplantation
    • Tregs


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