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Authors Lockridge JL, Chen X, Zhou Y, Rajesh D, Roenneburg DA, Hegde S, Gerdts S, Cheng TY, Anderson RJ, Painter GF, Moody DB, Burlingham WJ, Gumperz JE
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Journal PLoS ONE Volume: 6 Issue: 6 Pages: e21701
Publish Date 2011
PubMed ID 21738769
PMC ID 3128084

CD1 molecules are glycoproteins that present lipids and glycolipids for recognition by T cells. CD1-dependent immune activation has been implicated in a wide range of immune responses, however, our understanding of the role of this pathway in human disease remains limited because of species differences between humans and other mammals: whereas humans express five different CD1 gene products (CD1a, CD1b, CD1c, CD1d, and CD1e), muroid rodents express only one CD1 isoform (CD1d). Here we report that immune deficient mice engrafted with human fetal thymus, liver, and CD34 hematopoietic stem cells develop a functional human CD1 compartment. CD1a, b, c, and d isoforms were highly expressed by human thymocytes, and CD1a() cells with a dendritic morphology were present in the thymic medulla. CD1() cells were also detected in spleen, liver, and lungs. APCs from spleen and liver were capable of presenting bacterial glycolipids to human CD1-restricted T cells. ELISpot analyses of splenocytes demonstrated the presence of CD1-reactive IFN-γ producing cells. CD1d tetramer staining directly identified human iNKT cells in spleen and liver samples from engrafted mice, and injection of the glycolipid antigen α-GalCer resulted in rapid elevation of human IFN-γ and IL-4 levels in the blood indicating that the human iNKT cells are biologically active in vivo. Together, these results demonstrate that the human CD1 system is present and functionally competent in this humanized mouse model. Thus, this system provides a new opportunity to study the role of CD1-related immune activation in infections to human-specific pathogens.

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