Advanced omics techniques shed light on CD1d-mediated lipid antigen presentation to iNKT cells

Morris, Imogen; Croes, Cresci Anne; Boes, Marianne; Kalkhoven, Eric


Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells) can be activated through binding antigenic lipid/CD1d complexes to their TCR. Antigenic lipids are processed, loaded, and displayed in complex with CD1d by lipid antigen presenting cells (LAPCs). The mechanism of lipid antigen presentation via CD1d is highly conserved with recent work showing adipocytes are LAPCs that, besides having a role in lipid storage, can activate iNKT cells and play an important role in systemic metabolic disease. Recent studies shed light on parameters potentially dictating cytokine output and how obesity-associated metabolic disease may affect such parameters. By following a lipid antigen's journey, we identify five key areas which may dictate cytokine skew: co-stimulation, structural properties of the lipid antigen, stability of lipid antigen/CD1d complexes, intracellular and extracellular pH, and intracellular and extracellular lipid environment. Recent publications indicate that the combination of advanced omics-type approaches and machine learning may be a fruitful way to interconnect these 5 areas, with the ultimate goal to provide new insights for therapeutic exploration.