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Natural killer T (NKT) cells bridge the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system, and manipulating their effector functions can have therapeutic significances in the treatment of autoimmunity, transplant biology, infectious disease and cancer. This important lymphocyte subset regulates the immune system through their potent cytokine production following the recognition of lipid antigen present in the context of the MHC class I-like CD1d molecule, in addition their ability to directly mediate cytotoxicity. Here, we describe a method of expanding mouse invariant NKT (iNKT) cell lines from mononuclear cells isolated from the thymus, spleen, or liver using bone marrow derived dendritic cells. These iNKT cell lines can be used study their co-signaling requirements, cytokine profiles and cytotoxic functions which will greatly enhance our knowledge of iNKT cell biology.
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This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute Grants K01 CA131487, R21 CA162273, and R21 CA162277 and grants from the P30 Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program to T.J.W., NIH AI 70258 to M. Tsuji, the NIH AI 44129, CA 108835, and P01 AI072677 to J.P. Schneck. The method was published in Webb et al. (2012) and it is an adaptation of the methods used by Tupin and Kronenberg (2006).
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