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Curr Opin Immunol. 2005 Aug;17(4):448-54.

Working with NKT cells--pitfalls and practicalities.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria, 3010, Australia.

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  • Curr Opin Immunol. 2005 Oct;17(5):565-6.


Our understanding of NKT cells has been rapidly advancing over recent years, with many research groups studying how these cells behave and how they can be manipulated to prevent disease. Although good progress has been made, a difficulty is the lack of a clear consensus about how to assay, or even identify, NKT cells. The different approaches have been an ongoing source of uncertainty about the biological behaviour and function of NKT cells and have complicated efforts to define their role in immunity. An important step towards reaching agreement on the behaviour of NKT cells is to have a clear appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches that are employed in this field of study. This should help determine the most appropriate ways to investigate NKT cell function, thus bringing us closer to successfully exploiting these cells in the treatment of human diseases.

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