Deficiency of invariant NK T cells in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

Randall H. Grose, Fiona M. Thompson, Alan G. Baxter, Daniel G. Pellicci, Adrian G. Cummins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate whether immunoregulatory invariant NK T cells are deficient in Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Blood was collected for flow cytometry from 106 Crohn's disease, 91 ulcerative colitis, and 155 control subjects. Invariant NK T cells were assessed by Vα24 and (α-galactosylceramide/CD1d tetramer markers. Intracellular cytokine was measured after in vitro anti-CD3 antibody stimulation. Vα24+ T cells were quantified in ileocolonic biopsies as mRNA by real-time PCR and by immunofluorescence. Circulating invariant NK T cells were 5.3% of the control levels in Crohn's (P<0.001) and 7.9% of the control levels in ulcerative colitis (P<0.001). Interleukin-4 production was impaired in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Intestinal Vα24 mRNA expression was 7% in Crohn's disease (P<0.05) and 9% in ulcerative colitis (P<0.05). Intestinal Vα24+ T cells were 23% in Crohn's disease but not reduced in ulcerative colitis. We conclude that invariant NK T cells are deficient in Crohn's disease and in ulcerative colitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1415-1422
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • Crohn's disease
  • Invariant NK T cells
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

Cite this