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Single Cell Omics Solutions for Natural Killer T (NKT) Cells

Natural Killer T (NKT) cells from different lymphocyte lineages at the interface between innate and adaptive immunity, but their role in immune response remains elusive. Therefore, it is very important to make a comprehensive analysis of NKT cells. Whether you want to dissect differences in cell types, study adaptive immune systems, or discover copy number variations and genomic heterogeneity, Creative Biolabs's various analytical platforms based on single-cell omics are able to answer your scientific questions.

Single-Cell Genome Analysis for NKT Cells

The analysis of gene expression patterns and genome analysis has become a useful tool for studying the biological functions of different cell types and characterizing functional distributions that distinguish between distinct phenotypes or stages of differentiation or activation. We analyzed the gene expression profiles of NKT cells in order to obtain basic information about the function of NKT cells in congenital and adaptive immune responses. In addition, resting and activated NKT cells were analyzed to reveal their functional plasticity in immune response. Our findings reveal unique gene expression profiles and multiple effector functions of resting NKT cells compared with Natural Killerer (NK) cells, naïve conventional CD4+ T helper (Th) and regulatory T cells (Treg), which not only activate known Th1 and Th2 phenotypes but also connect to Th17 phenotypes.

Venn diagrams of microarray results for NKT cells compared with NK cells, Th cells, and Treg cells from spleens of C57BL/6 mice. Fig.1 Venn diagrams of microarray results for NKT cells compared with NK cells, Th cells, and Treg cells from spleens of C57BL/6 mice. (Niemeyer, 2008)

Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analysis for NKT Cells

Publicly available evidence on single-cell transcriptomes suggests that there may be substantial differences between individual cells in the "same" population, which may have important implications for understanding the origin and function of the population. single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis of NKT cells showed that NKT cells could serve as a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity mediating immune response. Unlike NK cells or T cells, NKT cells exhibit unique tissue specificity under steady-state conditions, suggesting that the function of strip segmentation is more meaningful for further study of diseases.

Bulk and single-cell RNA-Seq profiling of NKT cell subsets. Fig.2 Bulk and single-cell RNA-Seq profiling of NKT cell subsets. (Engel, 2016)

Single-Cell Proteomic Analysis for NKT Cells

Cell heterogeneity is important for biological processes including cancer and development. However, the heterogeneity of proteomes has not been explored to a large extent because of the limitations of existing methods for quantifying protein levels in individual cells. To alleviate these limitations, we developed single-cell proteomics using mass spectrometry (SCoPE-MS) and validated its ability to recognize different human cancer cell types based on proteome. In the study of autoimmune cholangitis, serum samples from mice of different ages were analyzed by SCoPE-MS. The results showed that NKT cells accumulated in the liver of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) patients and promoted PBC in mice including a dominant negative form of transforming growth factor beta receptor type II (dnTGFβRII). According to these studies, the "Natural Killerer cell-mediated cytotoxicity" pathway may be involved in CD8-mediated biliary tract damage, and type 2 CD8+ NKT cells may cause PBC-like diseases in mice and even in PBC patients.

Functional categories of altered proteins between donor splenic and recipient liver-infiltrating CD8+ cells. Fig.3 Functional categories of altered proteins between donor splenic and recipient liver-infiltrating CD8+ cells. (Zhang, 2018)

Single-Cell Epigenetic Analysis for NKT Cells

Epigenetic modification has been shown to be the key to control normal hematopoiesis, such as the consequences of changes in DNA methylation in primitive hematopoietic cells that are destroyed from the beginning. Epigenetics analysis was performed by microarray analysis of chromatin to understand the mechanism of gene regulation of NKT cell function. Our findings provide new insights into the NKT cell family, which may guide further research to better manipulate NKT cells for therapeutic applications.


  • Detection ability of large-scale samples
  • High sensitivity, no preference
  • Accurate analysis process

Creative Biolabs is dedicated to enhancing your biological discoveries at single-cell level. We are confident in unraveling secrets in individual cells. If you want to know more about our single cell omics solutions, please feel free to contact us for more details.


  1. Niemeyer, M.; et al. Natural Killerer T-cell characterization through gene expression profiling: an account of versatility bridging T helper type 1 (Th1), Th2 and Th17 immune responses. Immunology. 2008, 123(1): 45-56.
  2. Engel, I.; et al. Innate-like functions of Natural Killerer T cell subsets result from highly divergent gene programs. Nature immunology. 2016, 17(6): 728.
  3. Zhang, W.; et al. Proteomic analysis reveals distinctive protein profiles involved in CD8+ T cell-mediated murine autoimmune cholangitis. Cellular & molecular immunology. 2018.
! ! For Research Use Only. Not for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.