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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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