Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) from the Sphingomonadaceae family of bacteria have been reported to be potent stimulators of natural killer T cells. These glycolipids include mono-, tri- and tetraglycosylceramides. Here we have prepared the GSL-1 to GSL-4 series of glycolipids and tested their abilities to stimulate natural killer T cells. Among these glycolipids, only GSL-1 (1) is a potent stimulator. Using a series of synthetic diglycosylceramides, we show that oligoglycosylceramides from Sphingomonadaceae are not effectively truncated to GSL-1 in lysosomes in antigen-presenting cells, possibly because the higher-order GSLs are poor substrates for lysosomal acyltransfer enzymes.