Background/Aims: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and natural killer T (NKT) cells are two distinct lymphocyte subsets that independently regulate hepatic adaptive and innate immunity, respectively. In the current study, we examine the interaction between Tregs and NKT cells to understand the mechanisms of cross immune regulation by these cells. Methods: The frequency and function of Tregs were evaluated in wild type and NKT cell deficient (CD1dko) mice. In vitro lymphocyte proliferation and apoptosis assays were performed with NKT cells co-cultured with Tregs. The ability of Tregs to inhibit NKT cells in vivo was examined by adoptive transfer of Tregs in a model of NKT cell mediated hepatitis. Results: CD1dko mice have a significant reduction in hepatic Tregs. Although, the Tregs from CD1dko mice remain functional and can suppress conventional T cells, their ability to suppress activation induced NKT cell proliferation and to promote NKT cell apoptosis is greatly diminished. These effects are CD1d dependent and require cell to cell contact. Adoptive transfer of Tregs inhibits NKT cell-mediated liver injury. Conclusions: NKT cells promote Tregs, and Tregs inhibit NKT cells in a CD1d dependent manner requiring cell to cell contact. These cross-talk immune regulations provide a linkage between innate and adaptive immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)