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Requirement for Valpha14 NKT cells in IL-12-mediated rejection of tumors.

A lymphocyte subpopulation, the Valpha14 natural killer T (NKT) cells, expresses both NK1.1 and a single invariant T cell receptor encoded by the Valpha14 and Jalpha281 gene segments. Mice with a deletion of the Jalpha281 gene segment were found to exclusively lack this subpopulation. The Valpha14 NKT cell-deficient mice could no longer mediate the interleukin-12 (IL-12)-induced rejection of tumors. Although the antitumor effect of IL-12 was thought to be mediated through natural killer cells and T cells, Valpha14 NKT cells were found to be an essential target of IL-12, and they mediated their cytotoxicity by an NK-like effector mechanism after activation with IL-12.

Pubmed ID: 9374462


  • Cui J
  • Shin T
  • Kawano T
  • Sato H
  • Kondo E
  • Toura I
  • Kaneko Y
  • Koseki H
  • Kanno M
  • Taniguchi M


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Data

November 28, 1997

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genes, RAG-1
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor alpha
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interleukin-12
  • Killer Cells, Natural
  • Macrolides
  • Melanoma, Experimental
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Poly I-C
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets