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J Immunol. 2002 Apr 1;168(7):3140-4.

Cutting edge: analysis of human V alpha 24+CD8+ NK T cells activated by alpha-galactosylceramide-pulsed monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Human Valpha24(+) NKT cells constitute a counterpart of mouse Valpha14(+) NKT cells, both of which use an invariant TCR-alpha chain. The human Valpha24(+) NKT cells as well as mouse Valpha14(+) NKT cells are activated by glycolipids in a CD1d-restricted manner and produce many immunomodulatory cytokines, possibly affecting the immune balance. In mice, it has been considered from extensive investigations that Valpha14(+)CD8(+) NKT cells that express invariant TCR do not exist. Here we introduce human Valpha24(+)CD8(+) NKT cells. These cells share important features of Valpha24(+) NKT cells in common, but in contrast to CD4(-)CD8(-) (double-negative) or CD4(+) Valpha24(+) NKT cells, they do not produce IL-4. Our discovery may extend and deepen the research field of Valpha24(+) NKT cells as well as help to understand the mechanism of the immune balance-related diseases.

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