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Natural killer T cells are essential for the development of contact hypersensitivity in BALB/c mice.

The Journal of investigative dermatology (2014-04-24)
Chihiro Shimizuhira, Atsushi Otsuka, Tetsuya Honda, Akihiko Kitoh, Gyohei Egawa, Saeko Nakajima, Chisa Nakashima, Hiroshi Watarai, Yoshiki Miyachi, Kenji Kabashima
ABSTRACT

Contact hypersensitivity (CHS) has been widely used to study cutaneous immune responses, as a prototype of delayed-type hypersensitivity. Although natural killer T (NKT) cells have been assumed to have an important role in CHS, their role is controversial. Here, we report the role of NKT cells in the sensitization phase of CHS, by promoting the survival and maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) in the draining lymph nodes (LNs). The CHS response was attenuated with Cd1d1(-/-) and Traj18(-/-) BALB/c mice in which NKT cells were absent. In the draining LNs, the number of effector T cells and cytokine production were significantly reduced with NKT cell-deficient mice. NKT cells activated and colocalized with DCs in the draining LNs after sensitization. The number of migrated and mature DCs was reduced in NKT cell-deficient mice 72 hours after FITC application. In in vitro experiments, activated NKT cells enhanced bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) survivability via tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production from BMDCs. In addition, TNF production from BMDCs was partially suppressed by the neutralizing anti-CD54 or CD154 antibodies. Our data demonstrate that DC-NKT interaction has a pivotal role in the sensitization phase of CHS.

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