IL-10-producing NKT10 cells are a distinct regulatory invariant NKT cell subset

Duygu Sag, Petra Krause, Catherine C. Hedrick, Mitchell Kronenberg, Gerhard Wingender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells rapidly produce copious amounts of multiple cytokines after activation, thereby impacting a wide variety of different immune reactions. However, strong activation of iNKT cells with α-galactosylceramide (αGalCer) reportedly induces a hyporeactive state that resembles anergy. In contrast, we determined here that iNKT cells from mice pretreated with αGalCer retain cytotoxic activity and maintain the ability to respond to TCR-dependent as well as TCR-independent cytokine-mediated stimulation. Additionally, αGalCer-pretreated iNKT cells acquired characteristics of regulatory cells, including production and secretion of the immunomodulatory cytokine IL-10. Through the production of IL-10, αGalCer-pretreated iNKT cells impaired antitumor responses and reduced disease in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model of autoimmune disease. Furthermore, a subset of iNKT cells with a similar inhibitory phenotype and function were present in mice not exposed to αGalCer and were enriched in mouse adipose tissue and detectable in human PBMCs. These data demonstrate that IL-10-producing iNKT cells with regulatory potential (NKT10 cells) represent a distinct iNKT cell subset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3725-3740
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'IL-10-producing NKT10 cells are a distinct regulatory invariant NKT cell subset'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this