Mouse CD1d1 molecules present endogenous glycolipids to NKT cells. Although glycolipid presentation requires CD1d1 transport through the endocytic pathway, the processing requirements for such endogenous Ag presentation by CD1d1 molecules are undefined. We examined CD1d1 Ag presentation to NKT cells by disrupting endocytic trafficking and function in cells expressing normal and mutated CD1d1 expressed by recombinant vaccinia viruses. Consistent with previous studies, we found that preventing CD1d1 localization to endosomes by altering its cytoplasmic targeting sequences abrogated recognition by Valpha14Jalpha281(+) NKT cells without affecting recognition by Valpha14(-) NKT cells. Increasing the pH of acidic compartments by incubating cells with chloroquine or bafilomycin A1 blocked CD1d1 recognition by Valpha14(+) (but not Valpha14(-)) NKT cells without reducing levels of cell surface CD1d1. Similar results were obtained with primaquine, which interferes with the recycling of cell surface glycoproteins. These results suggest that the loading of a subset of glycolipid ligands onto CD1d1 molecules entails the delivery of cell surface CD1d1 molecules and an acidic environment in the endocytic pathway.