Attempts have been made to find specific antigens for a novel NKT cell subset bearing invariant Vα19-Jα33 TCR α chains (Vα19 NKT cell). Comprehensive examinations revealed substantial antigenic activity in synthetic α- mannosylceramide (ManCer) that was presented by MR1. Structural modification of the sphingosine moiety of α-ManCer improved antigenic activity to enhance either Th1 or Th2 – promoting cytokine production by Vα19 NKT cells. Such α- ManCer analogues will be useful for developing new therapies as immunomodulators.
Keywords: Glycolipid, FTY720, NKT cell, invariant TCR, immunomodulator, non-classical MHC class I
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