CD1d1 mutant mice are deficient in natural T cells that promptly produce IL-4

Immunity. 1997 Apr;6(4):469-77. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80290-3.


Murine CD1 has been implicated in the development and function of an unusual subset of T cells, termed natural T (NT) cells, that coexpress the T cell receptor (TCR) and the natural killer cell receptor NK1.1. Activated NT cells promptly produce large amounts of IL-4, suggesting that these cells can influence the differentiation of CD4+ effector T cell subsets. We have generated mice that carry a mutant CD1d1 gene. NT cell numbers in the thymus, spleen, and liver of these mice were dramatically reduced. Activated splenocytes from mutant mice did not produce IL-4, whereas similarly treated wild-type splenocytes secreted large amounts of this cytokine. These results demonstrate a critical role for CD1 in the positive selection and function of NT cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD1 / genetics*
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD1
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Interleukin-4
  • Immunoglobulin E