The Effect of α-Galactosylceramide, Specific Antigen for iNKT Cells, on Cytokine Profiles in BALB/c Mice

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Thitinan Kasetthat
Rasana W. Sermswan
Hiroshi Watarai
Surasakdi Wongratanacheewin


Background and Objective: Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are T cells subset that can secrete various cytokines respond to lipid or glycolipid antigens presented by CD1d on antigen presenting cells. α-Galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), the specific antigen for iNKT cells, can activate iNKT cells to secrete both proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines to activate the other immune cells. This study aimed to investigate the kinetic of cytokines in BALB/c mice at several time points after α-GalCer injection.

Methods: BALB/c mice were intraperitoneal injected with 1µg of α-GalCer per mouse and collected the blood samples at time points 1, 2, 4, 6, 12 and 24 hours post-injection. The samples were determined the cytokine levels by Cytometric Bead Array.

Results: GM-CSF, IFN-γ and IL-4 were the major cytokines detected in high levels in the early time point. IFN-γ was the highest cytokine levels. IL-10, IL-13 and IL-17A were low levels at the early time points and increased at the late time points. However, the levels were not high when compared to major cytokines.

Conclusions: The consequence after single dose injection of α-GalCer in BALB/c mice showed the cytokines kinetic in each time-point and IFN-γ was the highest detectable cytokine. From the cytokine kinetic studied, this experiment is an alternative model could be used as data for the α-GalCer experimental design in various diseases.


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