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Clin Immunol. 2004 Jul;112(1):8-23.

The immunoregulatory role of CD1d-restricted natural killer T cells in disease.

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  • 1The Departments of Pathology, Vrije Universiteit Medisch Centrum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Natural killer T (NKT) cells constitute a T cell subpopulation that shares several characteristics with NK cells. NKT cells are characterized by a narrow T cell antigen receptor (TCR) repertoire, recognize glycolipid antigen in the context of the monomorphic CD1d antigen-presenting molecule, and have the unique capacity to rapidly produce large amounts of both T helper (Th) 1 and Th2 cytokines. Important roles of NKT cells have now been demonstrated in the regulation of autoimmune, allergic, antimicrobial, and antitumor immune responses. Here, we review the immunoregulatory role of NKT cells in disease and discuss NKT cell based immunotherapeutic strategies.

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