CD1d Tetramer for NKT cells

CD1d tetramer – for specific detection of NKT / iNKT cells


Natural killer T (NKT) cells constitute a population of specialized T cells that express a semi-invariant T cell receptor (TCR alpha beta – the only specific NKT cell marker) and CD markers also associated with natural killer (NK) cells. However, NKT cells are not NK cells or a subpopulation of these.


NKT cells are defined by their unique ability to recognize lipid antigens presented in the context of the MHC class-I-like molecule CD1d. The majority of NKT cells express a mostly invariant TCR alpha chain and one of a few TCR beta chains. These NKT cells are named type I NKT cells or invariant NKT cells. The “invariant” TCRs of type I NKT cells recognize the synthetic lipid antigen alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) and other lipid antigens presented in the context of CD1d.


CD1d tetramers displaying alpha-GalCer such as PBS44 or PBS57 are used for specific detection of NKT cells in preparations of mouse (mCD1d) and human (hCD1d) lymphoid cells using flow cytometry.


Using human and mouse CD1d tetramers several subpopulations of Type I NKT, including CD4+CD8- cells and CD4-CD8- cells that are found in mice and humans, and CD4-CD8+ cells that are suggested to exist in humans but not in mice have been identified.


A smaller population of NKT cells, known as type II NKT cells, has also been described. Type II NKT cells express a wider range of TCR alpha chains and do not recognize the alpha-GalCer antigen and can thus not be detected using CD1d tetramers.


NKT cells have been associated with a broad range of diseases and have been suggested to contribute to antibacterial and antiviral immune responses, promote tumor-related immune surveillance or immunosuppression, and inhibit or promote the development of autoimmune diseases.


Relevant CD1d Tetramers to detect NKT cells in mice and man. >>To Order


Cat. No. Allele Antigen
HCD1d-001 hCD1d alpha-GalCer
HCD1d-002 hCD1d Empty
MCD1d-001 mCD1d alpha-GalCer
MCD1d-002 mCD1d Empty


CD1d/αGalCer Tetramer constitutes CD1d molecules loaded with the glycolipid alpha-Galactosyl Ceramide (PBS-44). PBS-44 and other CD1d presented lipid antigens have been extensively explored by Professor Paul B. Savage at Brigham Young University and these lipid antigens can be purchased from S&D Lipopharma.


CD1d/unloaded Tetramer constitutes CD1d molecules without loaded lipid antigen. αGalCer and other lipids can be loaded into this reagent (see protocol) or it can be used as negative control reagent.


Specification of CD1d Tetramers

Tetramer Shop supply CD1d Tetramers in various test sizes and the colors PE, BV421, BUV395, APC-Cy™7, APC, BV510, BV480, PE-Cy™5, PE-CF594, PE-Cy™7, PerCP-Cy™5.5, PerCP, FITC, BV605, BV650, BV786, APC-R700, BB515 and BUV737. For other colors, please enquire.


To order αGalCer (PBS-44) >> Press here