One of the manifestations of X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP) is progressive agammaglobulinemia, caused by the absence of a functional signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) - associated protein (SAP) in T, invariant natural killer T (NKT) cells andNKcells. Here we report that α-galactosylceramide (αGalCer) activated NKT cells positively regulate antibody responses to haptenated protein antigens at multiple checkpoints, including germinal center formation and affinity maturation. Whereas NKT cell-dependent B cell responses were absent in SAP-/-.B6 mice that completely lack NKTcells, the smallnumberof SAP-deficient NKT cells in SAP-/-.BALB/c mice adjuvated antibody production, but not the germinal center reaction. To test the hypothesis that SAP-deficient NKT cells can facilitate humoral immunity, SAP was deleted after development in SAP fl/fl.tgCreERT2.B6 mice. We find that NKT cell intrinsic expression of SAP is dispensable for noncognate helper functions, but is critical for providing cognate help to antigen-specific B cells. These results demonstrate that SLAM-family receptor-regulated cell-cell interactions are not limited to T-B cell conjugates. We conclude that in the absence of SAP, several routes of NKT cell- mediated antibody production are still accessible. The latter suggests that residual NKT cells in XLP patients might contribute to variations in dysgammaglobulinemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology