Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1) is a late endosomal/lysosomal transmembrane protein involved in the cellular transport of glycosphingolipids and cholesterol that is mutated in a majority of patients with Niemann-Pick C neurodegenerative disease. We found that NPC1-deficient mice lacked Valpha14-Jalpha18 NKT cells, a major population of CD1d-restricted T cells that is conserved in humans. NPC1-deficient mice also exhibited marked defects in the presentation of Sphingomonas cell wall Ags to NKT cells and in bacterial clearance in vivo. A synthetic fluorescent alpha-glycosylceramide analog of the Sphingomonas Ag trafficked to the lysosome of wild-type cells but accumulated in the late endosome of NPC1-deficient cells. These findings reveal a blockade of lipid trafficking between endosome and lysosome as a consequence of NPC1 deficiency and suggest a common mechanism for the defects in lipid presentation and development of Valpha14-Jalpha18 NKT cells.